Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Question of Priorities

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar will not be indicted for the kidnapping and abuse of a young man who became involved with his daughter over the Internet.

Last Friday’s edition of the Hebrew-language tabloid Ma’ariv carried an article in which the Chief Rabbi vehemently denied that his home has a connection to the Internet. He was also careful to say that his daughter has never had her own cellphone and that he did not allow his children to watch even those movies that are permitted in haredi society. Some people may even say I exaggerate a bit regarding that, he said.

(I would supply a link, but I can’t find the article in the online edition of Ma’ariv. In any case, the article was in Hebrew; Ma’ariv no longer has an online English edition.)

How strange, and how sad. The Chief Rabbi of Israel is accused of complicity in an incident of shocking abuse, and he feels he must assert that his home is “pure” and that his daughter is kept under strict (and, for that society, appropriate) restrictions.

I guess it’s a question of priorities.

According to Ma’ariv, members of the haredi community say that since both of these young people are spoiled for shiddukhim (arranged matches) now that they have been talked about in public—even though they did nothing wrong—the best solution would be for them to marry.

That would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. I wonder how long it will be before we hear that either member of the couple has been sent out of the country, or married off.

UPDATE: Here’s what Naomi Ragen has to say. Good stuff, as usual.

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