Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Light and Darkness

A blurb on Failed Messiah's website:

“When I [Rabbi Eitan Eckstein] founded the Center [Retorno, a durg abuse rehabilitation center near Kibbutz Tzora], observant society viewed us with much suspicion. I received threatening phone calls that this isn’t an issue that needs to be dealt with, that it is forbidden to let outsiders know that these things happen to us. They threw rocks at the site and threatened that they would hurt me. They were very angry that we were revealing a phenomenon that Orthodox society wanted to sweep under the carpet.”…

As I read this I thought of a quote I had underlined in one of my college books. I have been re-reading a book on Nietzsche lately and one of his aphorisms was this:

All truths that are kept silent become poisonous.

A community that can't bear the scrutiny of the light of day is a community that lives in darkness, class. We must, as a people, stop pretending that Jews never lose their way, Jews never sin, and Jews never suffer from the same dysfunctions as the rest of humanity. It's a lie, and lies are the antithesis of truth. Truth has no need to hide. Truth has no need to pretend. And anyone who lies and who pretends is not living in truth.

Trying to live a lie does not bring glory to God's name, and admitting the truth does not besmirch God's name - trying to cover up the truth is what causes God's name to be dishonored. This lesson MUST be learned by the leaders of the heredi community or the scandals and embarrassment and lives broken by sin and weakness will continue to get worse and worse. We must stop lying to ourselves and to everyone else. We are not super-beings who live all happy lives and never have trouble. The worse sin is knowing that people need help and refusing to give it to them because you don't want the world to know that Jewish people are just like everyone else.

The Rabbis have created this falsehood - this living lie - and a considerable amount of the darkness in the Jewish communities comes from them and the psychological and emotional abuse they inflict on people by denying them relief from their all-too-normal human needs and weaknesses. Because there is no way for an observant family to receive treatment for alchoholism, child or spousal abuse, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and other illnesses without suffering from censure or being shunned altogether, these issues are kept hidden in the hopes that they will never emerge from the shadows into the light of day.

But it doesn't work like that, class. The longer you hide something, the bigger it gets, the more toxic it gets, and the more impossible to cover up it gets. Hiding the homosexuality, the pedophilia, the rapes and adultery will not make it go away and will not keep people from finding out, either. Hiding alcohol, prescription drug and illegal drug abuse, eating disorders, violence and other marital dysfunctions never, ever solves the problem.

The Rabbis may as well admit to murdering every Jewish soul that has been denied proper treatment for these problems, because that is the ultimate outcome of their neglect of the victims and abuse of their power. The article goes on to say that every observant family has a child that has "gone secular," and there is no doubt these things are a large part of the reason. The Rabbis may as well have shot these children dead, because their souls are indelibly marked by the effects of the untreated dysfunctions that they have suffered. These young adults learned to judge Judaism and God by the complete lack of care and compassion they received from these self-serving Rabbis, and have concluded that if Judaism and God treats them like this, then Judaism and God aren't worth having.

Shame, shame on the Rabbis! Murders all, they! They have killed these poor children with their lies and darkness!

It's time to bring Jewish life back into the light. It's time for the sun to shine into all the dark crevices and expose the ugly rot growing there. It's time to disinfect the community that is living with the contamination that the Rabbis have allowed to flourish. Judaism is a living, breathing thing, and like all living things, if it's kept in the dark, it will die.

Let's hope it's not dead already, class.

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