Thursday, March 18, 2010

Martin Grossman Affair

The following is a letter I sent to one of the Jewish papers regarding the execution of Martin Gross, and to my surprise, it was printed.

Communal Priorities

As a ba'al teshuva I am bothered by a number of phenomena I have encountered in the frum world to this point. The latest issue involves the appeals being made on behalf of death-row inmate Martin Grossman, the 19-year-old who brutally beat up an officer, and then shot her in the head at point-blank range with her own gun.

Let's put on the backburner the fact that this is a horrific crime. What I don't get is why the frum community, time and time again, concentrates its collective effort on one cause - which is sometimes questionable, as in the Grossman case - but hardly lifts a finger for the 90 percent or so of Jews out there who are dying on a daily basis through assimilation, intermarriage and apathy.

These Jews, all with neshamos as precious as ours, can be granted life in olam habah and menuchas hanefesh through Torah and mitzvos in olam hazeh with a little more help from our community.

Sure, we have an Ohr Sameach here and an Aish there. But can we honestly say we are using more than a small amount of our spiritual resources for the millions of Jews dying all around us? The holy Chofetz Chaim said if go out and see people drowning, and someone helps him, that's a wonderful thing. But if you go out and see people drowning in the river every day, then you have a chiyuv to jump in and save as many people as you can.

And if you can't swim, hire a lifeguard (donate to a kiruv organization or someone who does kiruv).

Yisroel Rosenzweig
New York

Eize hu chacham, haro'eh es hanolad (who is wise? The one who sees the consequences down the road). How many people are actually taken off of death row? Not many. Could you imagine what the world would have said if they actually did let someone off, and it was a Jew? Think of the the consequences and the backlash against the Jewish community that this would have created. "Of course he got off, he's a Jew. Finally, it's come out - the Jews control the media, the banks, Hollywood, and now they control the judicial system, as well!" Think hard if you don't get it.


Anonymous said...

You have a right to feel upset however, In this case since you have much anger towards the nickolsberger rebbe, why dont you ask him. Maybe as a tzaddik he sees things in a very different light then you do. there is a famous story about a king who was riding in a chariot and as he passed by a bais medrosh a rock fell from the roof and almost killed him. The guards imediatelly whent inside the building looking for the perpetrator and came out with a young man who was learning who was the only one in the building at the time. The community was in an uproar and went to the king begging for him to be frred the king said unless a cerain rabbi comes to visit me and ask for him to be freed only then will I do it. They went to the rabbi and he said absolutely not. the community was all upset. Right after the hanging the rabbi said bring me the body. They brought the body to the shul and he placed a kameia on his neck and commanded the body to tell his story. He said that he lived 400 years ago and committed a terrible sin and was sentenced min hashamayim to come back and die for many generations the community pleaded for me and I was spared finally I was able to have my tikkun. This person was not a simple person and with martin we dont know what his reason for being in this world is/was. Obviously he murdered someone, and no one is arguing that he didnt do it. the bottom line is he still had a neshama.

Chazzan805 said...

Thanks for the insight. I do see your point and, yes, I guess in the end we don't really know. I may, in fact, meet with the Nikolburger Rebbe. I am curious as to what he has to say, although he may not tell his reasons to just anyone.