Monday, April 26, 2010

In Reverse

In most Jewish families there are stories of the children and grandchildren embarrassing the families by allying themselves too closely with the goyim (non-Jews) and goyish values.  The South African Goldstone family had a reverse shanda (embarrassment) to deal with when the sabba, zaydi, grandfather became known all over the world as the "anti-Israel spokesperson of the year" recently.  Davka, right before his grandson's Bar Mitzvah!

It was announced in the press, official, mainstream and unofficial (like blogs) all over the world that he'd be persona non grata at the Bar Mitzvah, a punishment worse than death.  Now it has been announced that there has been a sulha of sorts, and he can attend.

A day earlier, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, which represents most of the country’s synagogues, issued a statement that outlined something like a quid pro quo: a promise of no protests on the bar mitzvah boy’s big day, in exchange for a meeting between the judge and leaders of the South African Zionist Federation and other Jewish organizations.
Honestly, I don't see the connection in how this makes everything fine. But I also didn't like the interference in private family affairs.  I was not one of the bloggers who blogged about Goldstone's ban.  I'm sure the family suffers enough being in the public limelight and microscope.  If the Bar Mitzvah boy and his family want granddad at the Bar Mitzvah, it shouldn't be anybody's business but theirs.


Minnesota Mamaleh said...

amen, batya. how very sad that the attention is being taken *away* from a young man and his (and his family's) special day.

Keli Ata said...

Yep. I'm with you on this one. Why spoil the boy's big day? He'd probably be heartbroken if his grandfather wasn't there.

Besides, I don't like the idea of people interfering in a family matter.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. This is also a community matter for Jews everywhere.

The creep should be in complete Herem (that's "excommunication" to you, Keli). He is an enemy of his own people.

He shouldn't be allowed to sully a synagogue with his presence.

I am not verses in the Halachot of Haramot but I venture to guess that I'm not far off the mark.

yoni said...

well said, batya. i would have put quotes around "a fate worse than death", though. :)

Keli Ata said...

Ouch, Shy.

I know what Herem is.

Batya said...

Minne ma, keli and yoni, complicated for sure
Shy, whoever the Rabbi is there would have to decide if he could get any honors, but in terms of attending, it should be a family decision.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Batya, if the Rabbi in charge says "not in our shul", the family can make a minyan in their basement, for all I care.

A Herem isn't necessarily limited to not getting an Aliyah in shul. And a real Herem would apply just as much to family members as it does to everyone else in Klal Yisrael.

Batya said...

Let's leave the family in peace and let the rabbi handle it.