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As we remember Sheldon Silver, a crook who has died in a prison hospital…

… AND one of the highest-profile, most powerful, orthodox Jews New York has ever produced, we do well to revisit Jeffrey Goldberg’s ruminations on consistently high rates of various forms of criminality among this extremely pious group (Silver’s son-in-law, a Ponzi schemer, not long ago was released from prison). Some of his thoughts also appear in this Google book excerpt. (Here are my Sheldon Silver posts.)

He theorizes that “insularity plus a hyper-legalistic approach to life” creates illegal conduct.

Can observing the ritual so fastidiously blind someone to the fact that there are a whole other set of laws governing the way we’re supposed to act toward our fellow man? … [Why do significant numbers of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox seem] to have contempt for non-Jews? … [They seem to have] transferred their attitudes from Europe to here, never contemplating for a moment that government here is fundamentally different.

Margaret Soltan, January 24, 2022 9:52PM
Posted in: forms of religious experience

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