Is the frum prisoner in Madagascar a martyr?
Why is the word "charedi" included in this conversation?
The underlying point about this and many other of R Slifkin's blog posts is a culture clash. Rabbi Sacks contrasts Western moral systems which have overwhelming value focus on fairness and avoidance of harm with traditional moral systems, in which values attach to loyalty, authority and sanctity. In this case, those mobilising to support the turtle trafficker are motivated by loyalty to their fellow Jew. They purposely sugarcoat the details of the case to make him look like a martyr or a captive. Ask why and they will tell you, okay he made a mistake, in fact a serious mistake, but he's our brother and we have responsibility for him. This is all... (in my opinion, the right thing to do - which combines both sets of values - would be for Israel to reach agreement with Madagascar for him to serve out the rest of his term in Israel... )
he was taking the 59 turtles from Madagascar to Thailand where he could sell them for a fortune. The narrative, therefore, that he took a few turtles to delight his children is an out and out lie. He also complained the crowdfunding wasn't up to his liking, apparently a number of readers realized he was guilty.
As Natan correctly points out, this was not an innocent act by a naive tourist. He was actively and knowingly engaged in a criminal enterprise, trading in rare and endangered species. As the saying goes, "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime". Madagascar is an extreemly poor country, even by African standards, and I am sure that their prisions reflect that poverty. I do not have a problem with individuals or institutions trying to help him out, even with efforts to reduce or mitigate his sentence, or perhaps transfer him to some type of house arrest. Still, it must be acknowledged that he is a criminal and should be recognized as such.
Also, the fundraising campaign desperately needs a better translator and proofreader.
"The official was curious if I could tell him what the charedi community has to say about the man from Bnei Brak..."
Why this person would ask YOU about what the Charedi community has to say is anybody's guess. The likeliest answer is that either the parks authority guy is clueless and thinks all Jews with a kipa are the same, or your reputation as an anti-semitet vis a vis charedim, has spread, and the guy was looking for the kind of answer he knew you would give. Nothing to be proud of, I'm afraid. Regardless, the only responsible answer to that question would have been "No, you'll have to ask them yourselves."
Rabbi Slifkin, this story actually proves the exact opposite of what you are saying.
If Chareidim indeed don't care about the law, why would the campaign organizers mention that he was taking it as a toy for his kids? Why wouldn't they just say he was breaking the law, fair and square? Because no chareidi would withhold donations simply because he's a criminal, isn't that true?!
From the fundraiser… “…Unfortunately, removing turtles and harming nature is a serious offense there." Gee ya think?
I wonder how many shell corporations were set up for this smuggling op?
People live under a rock and think that it is the source of all sustenance. They never actually left and checked other ways of thinking.
Nowadays, incarceration is seen as a legitimate punishment for all kinds of crimes. Until people think that if you don't incarcerate, you don't care about the crime.
Incarceration is evil, a product of the vengeful religious vindictiveness that permeates the 'justice' system in the Western world. Incarceration should be kept for sociopaths, people who can't function in society. Murderers, molesters, rapists, and gangsters. If someone smuggles an endangered species from a country for money, he should be fined enough money that future expeditions are not financially viable. A swindler, an embezzler, a thief, or a tax evader should be fined, not incarcerated.
That is why the Charedi world will see all such cases as pidyon shevuyim. Whether it's art to Japan or turtles from Madagascar.
After reading the first paragraph I was thinking to myself: 'It can't be that Slifkin would right a post about turtles wothout mentioning the charedim?' But I couldn't think what the turtles can possibly have to do with the charedim. Here it goes.
עין הרע ויצר הרע ושנאת הבריות מוציאין את האדם מן העולם.
While not being outraged by the pouching of the rare turtles, charedim do not incourage it or approve of it. Fund me pages are often misleading and phrased in a way to present things in a positive light. This is a general problem that has nothing to do with the charedim.
Charedim are not Slifkin's society and speaking of them as such is misleading. Why doesn't he examine the ills of the society where he is now?
Some people just never learn…..
He can teach the other inmates Yiddish
I read your postings with interest Nathan. I don't always agree with your point of view but here I agree 100%. If you break the law in any country you suffer the consequences. Remember the young men who were sent to prison in Japan for smuggling drugs? At least they had the chance to learn Japanese to become interpreters on their release to earn an honest living. Perhaps this sentence will deter other like minded individuals although somehow I doubt it!
So he is not only a thief, a criminal, a liar, and a smuggler, he is lying to his fellow Jews so he can escape the consequences of his crimes. Scumbag like this bring disrepute on Jews in front of the world. FAFO