Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Misaligned Moral Compass in New Square

It is being reported that Shaul Spitzer, the person accused in the attempted murder of Aron Rottenberg and his family, has been released from the hospital and is back in the yeshiva in New Square.

The fact that Spitzer has been welcomed back to the yeshiva shows that moral compass of the leaders of the community is severely misaligned.

In New Square, you can be thrown out of school for the crime of having a parent who davens in the wrong shul, as happened to Rottenberg's daughter.  You would, presumably, face expulsion if you had a television in your home, had unfiltered internet access, had the wrong books, etc.  But attempt to murder a family in their sleep by fire?  For that, you get to come back to the yeshiva.

Assuming the yeshiva is under the control of the Skvere Rebbe, I have to admit that the fact that Spitzer is allowed back into the yeshiva really makes the condemnation of the attack very suspect.  How can he condemn the attack in public and yet allow Spitzer back into the school when he expels other people from educational institutions for far, far less?  I'm also left to wonder if the leaders of the New Square community haven't completely lost their sense of morality.

The Wolf

29 comments:

ksil said...

morality = what God wants.

how do we know what god wants? the rebbe tells us.

so by your definition, its sense of morality is firmly intact.

BrooklynWolf said...

If the definition of morality is that it's okay to throw a kid out of school because the father davens in a different shul but it's okay to accept an attempted murderer and arsonist, then I'm proud to say that I'm not moral.

The Wolf

Garnel Ironheart said...

There's a great interview with William Kolbrenner of OpenMindedTorah fame on-line in which he describes these kinds of Jews as skeletal. They've got the basic framework - the outfit, the Yeshivah-speak, the swaying while davening - but lack any of the substance of Judaism. For them, it's all about appearances and externalities and the more obsessed you are with them, the frummer you are to them.
For years we've been mumblings about how the Heterodox are evolving into another religion. It's time to wonder if the fanatical right hasn't already done that.

Devorah said...

"I'm also left to wonder if the leaders of the New Square community haven't completely lost their sense of morality."

Why should they be any different to any other leaders of our communities worldwide? They all seem to have lost their moral compass.
All criminals are immediately welcomed with open arms, funds raised to support their court cases, while the victims of their crimes are shunned and ignored.
It's so commonplace now that I believe it is the expected behavior from "leaders of communities".

It's a sad world we live in.

Englishman said...

Rottenberg's children weren't expelled until after manytold warnings and chances he was given to mend his wayward ways. I'm not going to waste keystrokes arguing with you over Rottenberg's misdeeds, but your comparison over his children's expulsion compared to Spitzer's re-accpetance in the Yeshiva is misguided for that reason -- one (Rottenberg) was given many many chances to correct and repent, while the other (Spitzer) made a one-time mistake and unless he makes clear that he will continue to do wrong there is no reason to keep him out of a Yeshiva of all places. There is no better place for him than in a Torah Center.

Anonymous said...

My personal experience with New Square residents has shown me that it is more a community of pigs who call themselves Jews but operate as a cult.

superman said...

My personal experience with the modern orthodox has shown me that it is more a community of pigs who call themselves Jews but operate as gentiles.

BrooklynWolf said...

Rottenberg's children weren't expelled until after manytold warnings and chances he was given to mend his wayward ways.

You missed the point. The point is that davening at another shul will get you expelled, regardless of how many times you were warned, but attempted murder is just fine.

It's not the number of warnings you get -- it's the fact that certain "crimes" are subject to the penalty of expulsion and certain ones aren't.

The Wolf

Commenter Abbi said...

The sickness is that Englishman doesn't see anything wrong with this behavior.

Englishman said...

You missed your own point. You attempted to compare the expulsion of the Rottenberg's to the non-expulsion of Spitzer. That was the point I addressed. There is no reason the bochor should not be allowed to come to Yeshiva.

jrs said...

Either Englishman is trying to be provocative, or he is someone so far afield of our own moral frame of reference that there's nothing to debate.

Arson & attempted murder are "mistakes" which do not alone, automatically, constitute a "reason to keep him out of a Yeshiva"?!

Anonymous said...

Someone who makes a "mistake" like that needs to be either in a psychiatric center, or a correctional facility. The yeshivas have their hands full with lazy, unambitious, immature, freeloading, underachieving boys with a sense of entitlement---they don't also need would-be criminals filling out the ranks.

fensterzaub said...

There was no attempted murder. There was only an arson attempt to burn the guy's back deck.

BrooklynWolf said...

There was no attempted murder. There was only an arson attempt to burn the guy's back deck.

At 4 in the morning, while the family slept in their beds. Sounds like attempted murder to me (and to the DA).

The Wolf

fensterzaub said...

The original charges didn't include attempted murder. They originally only charged arson and assault. The attempted murder charge, which is unprovable and unwinnable, was only later added after there was media pressue, even though there was no new information or change in circumstances since they initially charged him without any attempted murder charge.

ItcheSrulik said...

I don't see why you sound so surprised. Outraged, sure, but why the shock?

In groups like Skver, you get thrown out for disobeying his holiness the rebbe, not obeying him.

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BrooklynWolf said...

The original charges didn't include attempted murder. They originally only charged arson and assault

So what? There is no law or regulation that says that when the cops first lay charges they have to put them all down at once. It's just as possible that they intended to charge him with intended murder all along, but withheld until they investigated a bit further.

The Wolf

Zach Kessin said...

Depending on how the NY State attempted Murder statute is written it may be almost a slam dunk. You have someone trying to set a house with 6 people inside on fire, what did he think was going to happen to them? (Well OK he probably didn't think about it at all, but what will the jury think)

mlevin said...

Hey, doesn't the Jewish law holds you responsible for someone's death for merely forgetting to fence off a hole or a roof?

In this case, the fire was set to a portion of a house while people were in it. Thus, following the above logic, the arsonist has attempted a murder.

Being a yeshivah student, he should have known that...

Anonymous said...

It's irregular for a prosecutor to charge with arson and assault and then three days later with no new info in the investigation or other change in facts add attempted murder when they didn't know anything more than before.

He never had a chance to use his accelrant anywhere other than when it spilled when the two of them got into an altercation when he caught him. So they have nothing to disprove he intended to burn nothing more than his deck or even garbage can. No fire was ever set on the house.

Zach Kessin said...

I am not a lawyer, so take this with a shaker of salt or two.

Honestly I don't think this will ever see a jury. If this kid has any sort of a decent lawyer he will be advised to take some form of a plea.

That being said I can imagine what a jury's response to this would be, and I would not want to bet on it.

BrooklynWolf said...

It's irregular for a prosecutor to charge with arson and assault and then three days later with no new info in the investigation or other change in facts add attempted murder when they didn't know anything more than before.

Unless you are a prosecutor or are otherwise connected to the county DA, I doubt that you are terribly familiar with what is "regular" or "irregular" regarding the way prosecutors and/or police charge people with crimes beyond any anecdotes you may be familiar with.

In addition, unless you are connected to the local police forces and/or the DA's office, I highly doubt that you are in a position to say that there was no additional investigation or new information that became available between the initial charge and the upgraded charge.

He never had a chance to use his accelrant anywhere other than when it spilled when the two of them got into an altercation when he caught him. So they have nothing to disprove he intended to burn nothing more than his deck or even garbage can. No fire was ever set on the house.

If the deck is attached to the house, you can make a good case that if he wanted to light the deck that he knew the house would catch on fire as well.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

I am a lawyer, so I know of what I speak. And indeed it is irregular. And it is clear no new information developed from when the initial charges were filed a few days after the incident until they added the additional charge a few days after that. In fact, the suspect refused to ever speak to investigators. All they knew is what the victim described to them right after being attacked.

Anonymous said...

And he never burned or even poured the accelerant on the deck, or any other part or attachment to the house. So they have no evidence on that count.

cipher said...

I'm also left to wonder if the leaders of the New Square community haven't completely lost their sense of morality.

That presupposes they had one to begin with.

MO Kvetcher said...

I agree. Too bad Hitler didn't finish his job.

BrooklynWolf said...

MO,

I don't believe in censoring comments (barring a few specific examples), but I've got to say that I find your comment extremely offensive.

You may disagree with the Square lifestyle and you may condemn the actions of the individuals and the attitudes of the leadership of the community. You can point out the failings of the community both at the personal and leadership levels. But when you start wishing that they were exterminated and start wishing that Hitler had even killed a single additional Jew, you have crossed the line from disagreement and legitimate criticism to hatred and obscenity.

You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting such a thing.

The Wolf

MO Kvetcher said...

I don't think the leap was that great from everything else expressed here by you and others.

I do though respect your right to disagree and think the leap was greater than I found it.

MO Kvetcher said...

Upon further reflection, I've come to agree with Wolf and his commentators. Let's throw them into prison instead of the gas chambers.