Reply To: Articel on NY Post Web-site on religious Jews child abuse

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Some people are not as religious as others. Some kids go off the derech. Some kids might have never gone off had they never been sexually abused. This is a sad reality.

We like to believe that we do not judge those who aren’t as observant as ourselves, because only God can judge a person for who he/she really is. As the navi says* that when Mashiach comes – “and you will return and discern between the righteous and the wicked.” In our present state we have no way of telling.

Do we impose fines for certain transgressions? Penalties? Sure. But that is no contradiction. We do so in order to keep the order. To stop people from doing bad things, and to demonstrate to others that it isn’t worth it. But we don’t “judge.” We don’t say “you deserve it.” Because we honestly don’t know these things. Between this person and God there may be a completely different accounting than we think.

So let’s not be hypocrites, and let us take this argument to its logical conclusion. Imagine someone is a cold-hearted murderer. It is still not for any human being to decide what this person “deserves.” It is up to us and our court system to mete out a punishment that will teach others about the severity of the crime, and to do what we can to insure he won’t do it again. Because frankly society as a whole is more important than this individual. But to say that the person “deserves” something? Who are we to judge?

Yet in these horrible cases our emotions get in the way, and we do judge. So we’re really just a bunch of hypocrites, aren’t we? When it feels nice and fuzzy inside to love people and not to judge, we preach it. But when it hurts us, oh lets all go and hate these people, take revenge, etc. etc. etc.

Someone who molests a child can be causing the child considerable damage. He needs to be stopped, and lessons need to be taught. Not because “after all the victim has gone through he deserves to know that the molester is rotting away in prison.” I have never heard a comment more antithetical to Torah and mussar. Feel bad for the victims and give them your hearts; crack down on the perpetrators and stop this terrible thing from occurring, but don’t let self-righteous presumptions skew your entire hashkafas hachayim.

*Credit to Popa for pointing this out on a previous thread.