Irresponsible Politicians Undermining Trust in Science. Should Democracy Be Protecting Religious from Self-Harm?

POLITICIANS TOLD THEM IT WAS SAFE. THEY BELIEVED AND THEY ARE DYING. 

There is little that can be said about the above video and the following story, except that a community of people is harming itself and putting others at risk, sanctioned by our Federal Government, State Government and Local Government. In Israel, there is little difference.

As between Democracy and the Constitutional right to practice religion and to assemble and public safety, a choice is being made and the public is not being provided a safety net.  What comes first, the safety of individuals or the Constitutional Rights given to them? We posit that safety must always come first. There are arguments to be made on both sides.

But, as between political re-election and public safety there is no question, politicians are putting re-election above all else. This is true of President Trump, the Senators and House Members below him, the Governors of most States, and the local politicians. And, as a result society at large will suffer.

What happens when families with 8, 9, 10 children do not have a living parent? What happens when mothers are left to raise 5,6,7 children on their own? What happens when…

There are too many possibilities to even raise. Ultimately, however, society as a whole suffers for it.

This indefensible denial of science over religion at this juncture is true of religious Jews and ALL other religious practitioners who have chosen G-d over all else, a narrow-minded and misguided zealotry that discounts the value of human life. This is no difference in our opinion between congregational worship and any other form of terrorism with Covid-19 claiming its victims. We believe it should be treated as such.  

Police officers close synagogues and disperse public gatherings in an ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, following the government’s decisions, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus on March 31, 2020. Photo by Yaakov Lederman/Flash90

Emergency Room At Tel Hashomer Hospital Separates Patients From Chareidi Towns With High Rates Of COVID-19

RAMAT GAN (VINnews) — Emergency staff at Ramat Gan’s Tel Hashomer (Sheba) hospital have been directed to isolate patients arriving from Chareidi towns even if they do not exhibit symptoms of coronavirus due to the high rates of infection in these towns. Other hospitals are expected to adopt similar regulations, according to a Haaretz report.

Sheba hospital officials insisted that the isolation is not based on communal association but rather based on the rate of infection in the towns where patients come from. The towns mentioned included Bnei Brak, Elad and Modi’in Illit (Kiryat Sefer).

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Haredi Jews Are not the Only Religious Groups Ignoring Covid-19 Warnings, Born Again Christians

Why Are Religious Leaders of Different Faiths Leading Their Congregants to Covid-19?

Dear Readers:

We invite you to read the commentary below entitled: Born Again Christians Need to Follow the COVID-19 Rules or Go to Jail.

First, we have not received permission to post the article and hope that you will kindly go to the original source to see the video and read the article. Second, the republication does not necessarily mean that we support everything the author posts, that we endorse all of his commentary or that we are in any way affiliated with him. We are posting an article because it encapsulates our premise that in no uncertain terms,  religious defiance is not coming exclusively from religious Jewish groups and resentment for religious communities is not solely a problem for Jews. Moreover, we think it supports our position that expressing resentment for the religious communities defying directives is not anti-Semitism when that religious group happens to be Jewish.

Clearly, there is a growing resentment for ALL religious groups who are balking at the directives of science by congregating. Those religious “zealots” in the words of the author pose dangers for themselves, for us and for those around us.

Specifically, the author refers to those “Born Again Christians” who defy the state and national authorities as “self-centered zealots [who] flout the law because they think they are blessed better than everyone else.” He continues, “If these extremists refuse to protect themselves and their neighbors, its time for the authorities to storm their churches and disperse their ill-advised and often illegal gatherings.” 

Before going any further, no one outside of law enforcement should be storming anything and “storming” may be a bit harsher than we would express. But please note, if the same were written of the members of the Haredi community who were continuing to daven [pray] in groups, those same words would be be deemed anti-Semitic. Jewish groups like the American Jewish Congress, Jewish Federation and OJPAC would be going crazy trying to have the sentiments removed.

The point here is that ANY religious community that does not follow directives is putting the lives of their own and others at risk and should not be exempt from law enforcement’s reach at stopping Covid-19 by enforced social distancing. Religious practitioners are not exempt from the virus. Their practice should not be exempt from scientific guidelines; and law enforcement tasked with protecting us should be enforcing the directives. 

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Where are those Most Vocal Camera Ready Community Leaders When You are Needed Most? Covid-19

Where are the Jewish Community Leaders When There are no Cameras to Offer Fame?

The following is the text of an audio message that was sent to us from one of our readers. We have a copy of the audio to which it refers. By way of translation please note the following:

A shnorer a derogatory Yiddish word for someone who takes more than his fair share. He is the guy who will order the most expensive thing on the menu when someone else is paying the bill.

A Shtibel is a small synagogue in neighborhood homes.

Sheine Yidden is a Yiddish word for a “good Jew”. In this context it is a bit sarcastic.

Please stay safe. Please go out only when necessary. Please DO NOT GO TO MINYANIM OR OTHER PLACES TO DAVEN. Prayer in the privacy and solitude of one’s home is still prayer. 

Shabbat Shalom.

Dear LM,

Please post the following.

This is a message that came by audio via WhatsApp.  This is from a Hatzalah member:

“I must speak out because my blood is rushing to my head.

Just now there was a Hatzalah for a man who fell ill in a shtibel in Boro park. Where is the community’s brains? Where are we as a community? I do not understand. Where are the so-called community leaders?? The second there is a camera …. They are always in front of the camera but the second people are literally dying in the streets, bodies are piling up, young people, old people – there is no discrimination any more… all of a sudden crickets….( the leaders, politicians).

Where is the community board?

Barry Spitzer. Where are they??

Kalman Yeger. Where is Dov Hikind.

Where are they??

The second there is a camera in Boro Park they are all in front of it. All these so- called community leaders. Yanky Mayer. Rabbi Gluck. Anyone. You name it.

All these organizations. Hatzoloh. Shomrim.

Anytime there is a crisis in Boro Park each one of them runs to put his face in front of the camera. But there is a serious crisis, the bodies are piling up, the chapels cannot handle it, hospitals cannot manage – crickets….

They become very quiet when all is turning over. You don’t hear from anyone.

None of them are saying a word. No protests. Nothing.

Where is Yanky Mayer from Misaskim?? Who has 20 trucks that you Shcnorered from the community. These are our trucks! Not yours. You schonrered from the community millions and millions of dollars.

Send each one of your trucks and blast it in front if each Beis Medrash in Boro Park until they shut down. Where are these people? Why do we rely on them? Once this Corona dies down they are going to back to Beis Medrash  like Sheine Yidden  but when there is a crisis they hide in their shell.

You have 20 -30  trucks, Yanky Mayer, go around Boro Park and blast out a message to shut down!

The only organization that did a little bit was Shmira who went around with loudspeakers.

This is embarrassing!!!

 

The Road to Hell has Been Paved by the Religious Right – and Social Distancing Covid-19

 

Dear Readers:

The video is a wedding performed with Social Distancing. Mazel Tov. Some are listening.

The below is an opinion from the New York Times, Katherine Stewart. It focuses on the right wing evangelical Christians, an important talking point in understanding the juxtaposition of what is being stated and what is unfolding in fundamentalist New York neighborhoods, in contrast to the video.

We are only posting a few excerpts and encourage you to click here to read the opinion article in its entirety.

We have shared Ms. Stewart’s  opinion for weeks. Trump’s greatest supporters, the Evangelical right wing, [both Christian and Jews] are now being hurt the most by Covid-19, even if they are denying or otherwise hiding this fundamental truth.

The religious leaders on all sides took President Trump at his word that Coronavirus was “fake news” or that generally healthy people would not get sickor die; and they continued congregating in large numbers, creating a breeding ground for the virus. Now the religious supporters, Christian and Jewish are getting sick and even dying in record numbers. And on the Jewish side of the evangelical base, anyone who wants to tell that story is being silenced, either by community demands, by claims of anti-Semitism, or by closure of testing centers in religious neighborhoods.

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Religious Right Defying Covid-19 Directives Not Limited to Jews… Condemn the Govt. Not Those Following Examples

Another image from Sunday's service in Baton Rouge.
Another image from Sunday’s service in Baton Rouge.

Politics, the Religious Right and Covid-19, Trump Leading Your Supporters To a Potential Painful Death

The issue of religious Trump supporters taking a flippant approach to Covid-19 is not limited to the Jews in New York. There are other churches and congregations who see Trump’s examples, his desire to see packed churches, as a good thing. Trump is conveying that this is a political game, his religious right followers are accepting that explanation.

There are those who figure if Rand Paul can go to the gym and go swimming while awaiting a result to a Corona Virus test, certainly the dangers and risks are low. They are not.

Louisiana’s numbers of Covid-19 positive tests have, like New York, also increased, though not to the magnitude of New York and particularly not the religious communities of New York. It is just a matter of time.

If our United States President cannot set an example that reflects the magnitude of the devastation of Covid-19, the rising costs associated with treating it (forget about the tanking economy which will pale in comparison) how can his flock of sheep, those who support him,  accept that this is a major problem?

Trump is apparently telling them this is overblown. They are agreeing. That is a lie perpetuated by the leader of the free world.  

The approach is irresponsible.  

Anyone who has not tested negative for Covid-19 or anyone who has not developed the antibodies through surviving it, is nothing short of a potentially armed killing machine.

Continuing to congregate in any form should therefore be prosecuted similarly to anyone who engages in bio-terrorism. A Covid-19 infected body is a dangerous weapon, something President Trump and the most respected members of his administration and cabinet seem to be ignoring. If someone dies after contact with Rand Paul, he should be held to account.

President Trump it is your job, as President of the free world, to confront the dangers of this virus head on and to lead by example. It is your G-d given duty to protect your followers, not to lead them to death.

While Covid-19 is not necessarily a death sentence, for the elderly and immune compromised, it likely is a proverbial electric chair. Accepting Trump’s antics is akin to taking a flying leap out of a plain at 30K feet without a parachute and hoping for the best. That is not responsible leadership.

The churchgoing community should not be lambs led to slaughter. And the elderly should not, unlike Texas’ Dan Patrick’s comments, be “willing to sacrifice for the economy.”

It is almost as if Dan Patrick knows that there will be deaths and is willing to send the elderly to their graves. Is that what any G-d would want from us, to sacrifice our elderly?

Please, we are asking for responsible leadership for the religious right who supported and continue to support Trump in droves.   

Pastor again defies state order not to hold large gatherings. He says 1,000 people came to his church Sunday

Some Americans still aren’t practicing social distancing 01:34

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A Parenting Course – the Indoctrination of Religious Jewish Children to Hate

From the archives of Frum Watch on Facebook click here.

Dear Reader:

We are posting these disturbing videos because we believe that they mirror, in subtle and astounding  ways, the same hatred taught by radical white supremacists (like the KKK), the difference being the targets. This rabbi is targeting everyone who does not dress, observe and believe as he does and he is basing it in Jewish scripture, albeit we believe a flawed interpretation. Similarly, the KKK has used these same reasoning methods from the New Testament against Blacks, Jews, the LGBTQ community and the list goes on. Children in families of White Supremacists are dogmatically taught to hate. There is no difference here.

Simply because this comes from the mouth of a visibly Jewish rabbinical scholar does not make it any less bigoted, fear mongering and hateful. In our view, this speech is no less venomous than it would have been were he to have been cloaked in a white cape and hat.

This is the anti-non-Jewish and anti-secular Jewish view of the world from someone who was brought in to teach a parenting course. We view this as a tragedy. If Jewish children (any children) are being taught that those less observant, those less Torah-scholared, those who dress differently, are less Jewish and frankly less human (as translated) than we are creating the same hatred as the Ku Klux Klan and are no less responsible for the consequences or those unintended consequences that result. If this means acts of anti-Semitism, it means seeing a response to these views angrily expressed.

With the words of this rabbi available for the world to hear, is it any wonder why we, all Jews, are becoming more and more reviled?

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