Monday, June 15, 2009

Chaplain...You're NO Rav Aryeh Levin

By the Bray of Fundie
I am trying to make some sense of the latest scandal to hit Kharedi Jewry. While I have no illusions that Rabbi Leib Glanz was not shmeared at some point, perhaps quite handsomely, I speculate that this was not what he first set out to do. As the old saw goes "Many a young man went to Washington to do good but ended up merely doing well."

I surmise that Rabbi Glanz is a lev tov "ah gooter" but an intellectual lightweight. And like many mekhankhim mired in middle school today who set out on their long circuitous journeys through Bais Medrash and Kollel with dreams of becoming superb, influential Roshei Yeshiva, true molders of young men, I'd imagine that the young Leib Glanz first entered the NYC Corrections System with visions of the sainted Rav Aryeh Levin dancing in his head. "What a Tzadik. Helping Yidden when they're down. I think that I can do that too! What could be a greater Mitzvah? It's no kunst to extend khesed to the suffering innocent. But to the suffering guilty and obnoxious? That takes REAL ahavas Yisrael".

Well let me tell're no Rav Aryeh Levine! First you can hardly compare the prisoners being ministered to. Those prisoners Rav Aryeh first dealt with who were incarcerated in the Russian Compound were political prisoners of the British Mandate i.e. freedom fighters for Israel as well as societal criminals. True, after the State was established and the political prisoners were freed, he remained at the prison, serving the murderers, thieves, etc. Yet I hold that Hiskatnu Hadoros applies even to criminals and that the denizens of "The Tombs" weren't put there on charges of habitually missing z'man Krias Shema.

Next Rav Aryeh influenced l'toiv through his radiant and noble personality not through delivering goodies and favors. Loving someone != enabling someone, and from all the reports it seems that Rabbi Glanz traipsed down a hellbent path paved with good intentions that was riddled with many instances of enabling those very middos and behaviors that got the prisoners incarcerated in the first place and that MAY have even been transgressions of lifnei eeveir. Rav Aryeh had a big head governing his big heart. I doubt that the same could be said of this sad chaplain.

The fallout, much unlike that of Rav Aryeh ZY"A is khilul HaShem, increased anti-Semitism and rougher conditions for those Rabbi Glanz sought to help in the first place.

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