Crime is Less Prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish Community

Posted on 11 April 2016 by Josh Fallik

NYPDCapWhile one can’t argue with Rabbi Marc Angel’s underlying premise in his blog, “Dishonest Orthodox Jews? Is that Possible? There is much to comment on his view of the subject matter.

The good Rabbi bases the entire piece on a April 8, 2016 New York Times article reporting that four NYPD veterans were being reassigned in a disciplinary action stemming from a wide-ranging federal corruption investigation.  The article went on to report that two businessmen at the center of the investigation are from Boro Park, presumably Orthodox Jews.  The article does state correctly that they haven’t been charged with any crime but it reports on allegations that they provided financial favors to people in power in order to advance their own business dealings.

Rabbi Angel writes “I do not know if these businessmen are guilty of crimes, but I do know that when I read the article, I didn’t feel surprised to learn that Orthodox Jews might be engaged in shady dealings.” The Rabbi continues, “Indeed, it seems that Orthodox Jews—at least as much as other groups—get involved in financially dubious or out rightly criminal behavior.”

 It was very disappointing that an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi reads, and believes, a NYT article alleging wrongdoing of fellow Orthodox Jews and goes on to “judge” them prior to any evidentiary presentation; prior to any testimony; and prior to a grand jury hearing and decision.

I was very surprised that an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi still reads, and quotes, the NYT despite their very notorious bias against religious Jews, and people of faith.

As I was reading the Rabbi’s blog I was hoping to come across a line declaring that crime, of any sort, is less prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish Community than in the general population. Sadly, in his zeal to affirm the NYT contentions, the Rabbi failed to state the obvious.

The Rabbi then goes into a soliloquy theorizing why he isn’t surprised to read of such allegations in the NYT about Orthodox Jews.
Rabbi Angel, please don’t condemn Orthodox Jews as a result of reading newspaper articles.

I will state the obvious.
Crime is less prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish Community compared to the general population.
Believing Jews recite the Tachnun every morning and afternoon..Ashamnu.. Bagadnu..Gazalnu, etc. Yes Orthodox Jews do commit transgressions, however, the believer can discern good from evil, and recognizes wrongdoings, thus fears divine retribution or regrets ones unfaithfulness to the creator of the universe, resulting in Tshuvah.   That is what separates the community of faith from the secular community and non-believers.

I do feel very surprised, and terribly perturbed, when I hear of such sad misdeeds in our midst.   At the same time I do share your hope that “The day will hopefully arrive when the reputation of Orthodox Jewry will be so spectacularly honest, that everyone will point to Orthodox Jews as the best models of business ethics, trustworthiness and dignified behavior.”


Ideals – Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Dr. Yitzchok Levine Says:

    You wrote “I will state the obvious.
    Crime is less prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish Community compared to the general population.”

    You could have made an even stronger statement, namely, “that crime is unknown in the Orthodox Jewish Community” in light of Rav Shimon Schwab’s assertion that any Jew who commits a crime is not part of the Orthodox Jewish Community!

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