Rabbi Blames Haitian Disaster On Comic Strip

It’s good to know that it’s not just American fundamentalist Christian evangelists who make the most offensive of statements about the Haitian disaster. Jewish rabbis can also have a good stab at it themselves.

Rabbi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, writes on Cross Currents;

Jewish religious sources maintain that catastrophes, even when they do not directly affect Jews, are nevertheless messages for them, wake-up calls to change for the better. Insurers call such occurrences “Acts of G-d.” For Jews, the phrase is apt, and very such lamentable event demands a personal response…

The very week of the recent catastrophe in Haiti, a national Jewish newspaper published a comic strip featuring grotesque depictions of religious Jews and aimed at disparaging Jewish outreach to other Jews. And another Jewish newspaper ran an editorial placing the alleged ugly sins of an individual at the feet of Jewish rabbinic leaders, simply because the presumed sinner, before he was exposed, had arranged for several respected rabbis to deliver lectures and had encouraged people to make donations to their institutions. Having thus “established” guilt by that association, the editorialist demanded that every Orthodox organization and rabbinic leader publicly condemn the alleged sinner or be smeared themselves with sin. Then he mocked rabbinic authorities as a group for, instead of issuing condemnations of sinners, rendering decisions on social and halachic matters, as if that were not precisely what rabbis are for.

He is referring to The Odd Couple, a strip published in Forward magazine reproduced below. Seems worth a country-wide calamity from a vengeful deity over a completely-unconnected cultural event, don’t you think?

Say, maybe printing this strip in Bleeding Cool will cause a volcano eruption in Fiji.

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