It’s no secret that many of Bernie Madoff‘s victims were fellow Jews, both personally and through charities. A vocal member of the community has come up with a way to punish him.
Evening Standard [UK]: One reaction has been a call to excommunicate Madoff from Jewish life. The unprecedented suggestion was made by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of the Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut. A former journalist who wrote in the New York Times and other papers, Hammerman said: “Madoff’s actions strengthened antisemitic stereotyping of Jews as greedy people prepared to do anything for money”.
In addition, he abused his access to Jewish organisations to steal from them. Hammerman said a Google search of Madoff + Jewish yielded 295,000 results.
If his initiative succeeds, Madoff would be barred from attending any synagogue and would not be allowed a Jewish burial.
From what we understand, courtesy of a very smart person knowledgeable in such things, one can’t excommunicate someone in modern Judaism, BUT Orthodox synagogues could possibly bar him for ritual impurity or something in that vein.
And if they did that? Well, we don’t know of any important precedent except maybe this one: Jesus.
(Angry religious groups, I’ll save you the legwork: [email protected])
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