Friday, February 12, 2010

Interesting Posts and Articles #256

  1. Two roundups back, I decried the body snatching in Yerushalayim, to prevent an autopsy. One commenter made a true and valid point:

    Just a point about the Israeli body snatchers:

    While I may not agree with their way of life, I fully sympathize with them on this. The Israeli police do not consider the whether a full autopsy is necessary - they simply do an autopsy because they can.

    Since the "body snatchers" went to work, the police is far more judicious in which cases it requests autopsies, as they know that any autopsy will cause a ruckus, and therefore there better be a good reason for the autopsy.

    What happened in this specific instance? The police reached a deal with the "body snatchers" - no autopsy, an external examination will suffice. If there had been a reason for a full autopsy you can be pretty sure that the police would not have caved in so quickly.

    Chalk one up for the body snatchers.
    This all may be true. And indeed, when I made my initial condemnation of this, I assumed many of the points here. (Though I don't think the average layman is in a position to judge whether a given case merits an autopsy, and would guess, based on one or two previous cases, that police would give in to the rioting chareidim even where it was merited.) However, I don't think it matters. The ends do not justify the means, and my inclination is that even if all deaths were followed by autopsies -- where it was not a case of shmad -- it would not justify becoming a society of violent thugs. So what if otherwise they would not get their way? So they don't get their way! Learn to live with it! Grimace and bear it. Instead, when faced with anything they don't like, and which violates their religious sensibilities, they become violent.

    (Indeed, I think I would have preferred an ending in which the police had given fair warning for the innocents to leave; then used tear gas; arrested the body snatchers; and recovered the body, and subjected the body to autopsy if they then deemed it necessary. Negotiating with them and granting them this success only encourages such misbehavior, much like negotiating with terrorists.)

    There was a news report I wanted to comment on, which illustrated this, but I see that Emes veEmunah beat me to it. Apparently, this type of childish tantrum behavior has been exported to the US, to Kiryas Yoel:

    The trooper brass also said they won’t tolerate anymore of the large crowds of warring factions in the Hassidic village to congregate, vandalize and overturn vehicles. One car was flipped last weekend during three days of unrest that brought out State and local police in large numbers.
    The latest unrest apparently centers around a disputed wedding that took place, recently.
    Monroe State Police Barracks Commander Capt. Steven Nivens Thursday said they need to establish a sense of law and order in the village.
    “It has become socially acceptable in KJ to have a mob mentality whenever they get a decision that doesn’t favor one side or the other, they can get a group of 300 to 700 to 1,000 people and cause disturbances and these disturbances are getting progressively more dangerous,” he said.
  2. Life In Israel posts a video of an investigative report into the dybbuk phenomenon,

    with a good summary as well. An excerpt:

    The report continues with other mekubalim and how they snag the public. While they are generally not looking to deceive the public and steal their money, their processes are designed to get people to donate emotionally to their yeshivas and organizations. They spoke with the organizer for the events the mekubalim speak at. He said he represents 15 mekubalim (is he like a talent agent or something?) arranging their events. They don't really take in money at these events, but afterwords is the big take - the people come to the mekubalim and give them lots of money and support over time...
  3. Australian Jewish News Watch on an attempt to get a Yechi sign in Yeshivah Shule removed. Also at Vos Iz Neias.

  4. At Hirhurim, the halachics of coffee on the road, and marit ayin.
  5. At Orthonomics, should you withhold tuition for horrific bullying?
  6. A chastity belt for dogs. This is a good development, given the halachic issues of spaying and neutering pets.
  7. Captain America against Tea Partyists.
  8. Rabbi Landau about kashrut, and Strauss.
  9. Here on parshablog, charoses and the authenticity of the Zohar.
  10. And Rabbi Natan Slifkin is giving a bunch of lectures in Brooklyn this weekend.

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