Michael Powell of the New York Times has written a column about the Novominsker Rebbe Rabbi Yaakov Perlow's hateful rant against Open Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews which Perlow delivered Tuesday night at the Agudath israel of America fundraising dinner in front of several politicians – including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – and those politicians disgraceful silence.
Michael Powell of the New York Times has written a column about the Novominsker Rebbe Rabbi Yaakov Perlow's hateful rant against Open Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews which Perlow delivered Tuesday night at the Agudath israel of America fundraising dinner in front of several politicians – including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
As I reported yesterday, de Blasio did nothing nothing as Perlow ranted, and then de Blasio rose to speak immediately after Perlow and did nothing again, allowing Perlow’s hateful words about the vast majority of New York City’s Jews who elected him to go unanswered.
Perlow is the head of Agudah – an organization with a terrible track record on child sex abuse and related issues, and which is now suing the city to end the informed consent requirement for metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bloody-penis sucking done by haredi mohels after cutting off the baby's foreskin.
Agudah wants to continue that sucking unfettered by an informed consent.
That many babies have died and been maimed from diseases transmitted by MBP, and that whenever MBP was stopped, epidemics of Jewish baby boys dying stopped?
Agudah simply denies the truth, as it does so often about so many other things, including child sex abuse committed by its own members.
But enough of me.
Powell prominently mentions the child sex abuse, Agudah’s shameful actions regarding it (including a choice mention of Agudah's executive VP Rabbi David Zwiebel), and de Blasio’s cowardice. And then he points out more:
…As a councilman and public advocate, Mr. de Blasio expended few words on the Orthodox sexual abuse scandals.
He did, however, prove an able point man in pushing for day care vouchers tailored for Orthodox families. Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had ended this program, but Mr. de Blasio has pledged to restore it.
Mr. Bloomberg also regulated the practice of metzitzah b’peh…
At a mayoral forum in Brooklyn last year, Orthodox residents asked if candidates would overturn this policy. Mr. de Blasio offered a mumble. The city, he said, should talk with “community leaders.”
Which brings us back to the mayor’s too crabbed definition of community.
In crafting his prekindergarten program, the mayor allowed tax dollars to go to yeshivas, madrassas and church-based programs, if instruction was secular and religious imagery removed.
A de Blasio aide acknowledged on Wednesday that yeshivas likely would “draw on kids from their community.” And these schools will not be forced to hire teachers of different religions.
A mayoral spokesman noted that Mr. de Blasio may not agree with every word of every speech. But as Mr. de Blasio told Agudath on Tuesday: “I appreciate the theme of stand up and speak up. It means stand up for what is right for the community.”
You wonder how the larger community of New York City fits in this conception.
My thought would be that it doesn’t.