Friday, July 02, 2010

In Defense of Repentant Jewish White Collar Criminals

Before anyone goes berserk from the title of this post, I want to state unequivocally that all crime, including white-collar crime, is wrong - period.

However, the Torah has a concept of Teshuva - repentance - that is so powerful that if done properly, can even turn sins into merits.

Please read the following Tanna Devei Eliyahu and let me know what you think:
ובכל יום ויום מדת הדין מתגברת ועומדת לפני הקב״ה ואומרת לפניו רבש״ע כתבת בתורתך (ויקרא יט) ולא תשבעו בשמי לשקר וגו', וישראל משכימים לשוקים ונשבעים לשקר וחומדין את נכסי חבריהם ואת נשי חבריהם ומספרים לש״ה על רעיהן שמא יש לפניך משוא פנים אבל הקב״ה מדבר טוב על ישראל ואומר אל מדה״ד ישראל משכימים לבתי כנסיות ולבתי מדרשות ומביאין את התינוקות לבית רבן ומוהלין את בניהם את בשר ערלתן. ולא עוד אלא שבראתי להם את התשובה שהיא שקולה כנגד כל הקרבנות שבתורה והאיך אתה אומר שיש לפני משוא פנים.

See a nice peirush to this Tanna Devei Eliyahu here.

This Tanna Devei Eliyahu tells us that Hashem wants to defend the Jewish people even when we act wrongly for 2 reasons:
1) We have so many other great Mitzvot that we do that help us out
2) We have the concept of Teshuva, which is very powerful

When a Jewish man acts wrongly, we should teach our children that it is wrong, but is vilifying him on blogs the right way to go? It's not Hashem's way, and therefore not והלכת בדרכיו - walking in His paths. This is especially true when he is an otherwise good individual and especially when he is repentant.

Of note is the Derasha on כפלח הרמון רקתך - that even the empty ones of the Jewish people are full of Mitzvot like a pomegranate.

This should not be used to defend bad behavior or crimes. It should be used the next time you open your mouth or keyboard prosecuting against those within your nation.


At Sat Jul 03, 05:03:00 AM 2010, Blogger Devorah said...

You make a good point.
If it even influences just ONE blogger, it will be worth it.

At Sun Jul 04, 04:58:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings. as a noahide i have felt very sad when jews run down their own. its so unlike a jew to do this. the sages taught that everything is from Hashem, except the Fear of Heaven, i have tried all times (many times unsucessful) to follow the path of the Light to all nations i.e. the jews. to say 'thank you" to Hashem for the troubles and pray He will take it away. may this long exile end soon, now. May G-d's chosen know only peace and happiness.

At Mon Jul 05, 06:30:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Sadia said...

Teshuva, tefila, tsedaka are not mere hills, but are formidable, imposing mountains that can literally change a person's life for the better.

At Wed Jul 07, 09:27:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, good blog, good man. I love it, thank you so much for all the work that you do. Be blessed forever and ever Tzaddik.

At Sun Jul 11, 11:11:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is now against the torah as so; for the Chaphetz Chaim to speak lashan harrah about an Evil Doer or Rasha for that matter!


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