The irony of the Jeffrey Epstein case breaking wide open this past week, as the week’s Torah reading was Balak, screams out for more scrutiny.
At the end of the parsha, we find that Balaam having unsuccessfully cursed the Israelites (blessing them instead, as God wanted) advises Balak the king of Moab, to send in his Moabite dancing girls to start an orgy with the Jewish men in the camp.
Knowing that the God of Israel detests sexual immorality, Balaam suggests to Balak that the debauchery and idolatry will bring the wrath of God down on the Jews. Midianite women (including upper class girls), were sent in to tempt the Jewish leaders.
The story ends with the prince of the tribe of Shimon fornicating with a Midianite woman. So enraged is Pinchas (Aaron’s grandson), that he kills both of them, ending the plague that had broken out in the camp and had already killed 24,000 (Numbers 25:1-7, see also Sanhedrin 106a).
Epstein had been convicted of prostitution in 2008. That’s bad enough. But the present allegations against him of sex-trafficking, rape, and pedophilia, and the release of the names of some of his “friends,” (Or is that clients?) are atrocious, if true.
I want to say clearly, its a terrible Chillul HaShem, and needs to be condemned by all Jews. Just as those who cavorted with the Moabite and Midianite women in the Torah, needed to be punished.
A Chillul HaShem by the way, occurs whenever a Jew acts immorally (against the laws of the Torah), while in the presence of others, whether fellow Jews or Gentiles. Judaism believes that the Jewish people are representatives of God and His moral code, the Torah, and when a Jew acts in such a shameful manner like that, s/he has brought disrepute on the Jewish people and God, thus desecrating His name.
That said, for all those following the unfolding Epstein saga, be alerted to the fact that Jew haters of all political stripes and colors in America, are using it to foment more Judeopathy than usual.
On the Far Right, the National Vanguard website blasts, “How Jews Got Serial Child Rapist Jeffrey Epstein Off.”
RenegadeTribune.com screams, “Jews Running Cover For Trump In The Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking Scandal.”
The same sentiments are expressed at StormFront.org, indexing DavidDuke.com articles, and messages posted like, “Jews are sexual degenerates and they always protect their own. That’s how the ADL got started. To protect the child rapist and murderer Leo Frank.”
Frank if you recall, was kidnapped from prison and lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in 1915, after Georgia Governor John M. Slaton, based on new evidence, chose to commute Frank’s death penalty verdict to life in prison.
Then the Nation of Islam website blares, “Dershowitz-Epstein Sex Deal Has Deep Jewish Roots,” they even misquote and misrepresent the Talmud to prove their points.
And of course, the Left and pro-Palestinians have jumped on the bandwagon. Headlines shriek like, “Israel defender Alan Dershowitz has long history of attacking sex abuse victims.” The Electronic Intifada has used the tragedy to attack Israel, not just Israel supporters like Dershowitz, whose name has come up in this scandal, not just as Epstein’s lawyer, but also as an active participant.
The Far Right, Black Muslims, and the Extreme Left, have all followed the story with glee in their eyes, telling their audiences, “See, we told you so, the Jews…”
But even on a more moderate, liberal website, like Slate, for example, they named names of who’s been part of Epstein’s “party” world. In a recent article entitled, “A Running List of Jeffrey Epstein’s Rich, Powerful, and Presidential Friends: From A(costa) to Z(uckerman), everyone’s bad,” while mentioning such big machers as Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, seven of the twelve names they chose to expose were Jews.
Also, in the magazine New York, an article entitled, “Jeffrey Epstein’s Rolodex: A Guide to His Famous Friends and Acquaintances,” named names, almost half of those they listed were Jews, or have a Jewish father and Jewish sounding last name (15 out of 35 names).
As if growing anti-Semitism in America and worldwide, needed some charcoal lighter fluid, to help the flames grow, to grill the Jewish people again.
Recently, when Ehud Barak was attacked by Netanyahu, for his involvement with Epstein, Barak responded to by answering, “Donald Trump and Bill Clinton also knew Epstein.”
Barak added, that the late former Israeli president Shimon Peres had introduced him to Epstein.
As if that made it OK!
Epstein has been a major financial backer of Barak for years. Epstein invested millions of dollars in Carbyne, an Israeli start-up company in which Barak is the controlling shareholder. Maybe to clean up his image before elections, Barak recently announced on his Facebook page, that he will consider breaking off his business relations with Epstein.
Barak has also had involvement with another Epstein “friend,” Harvey Weinstein, also known for “rape fame.”
About two years ago Barak recommended to Weinstein, that he hire Israeli private intelligence company Black Cube (loaded with ex-Mossad and security officials), to do some “dirty tricks” for him at the height of Weinstein’s scandal.
What good company Ehud Barak keeps!
So don’t worry, if you thought Jews and Israel would be left out of the Epstein story, the Jew haters and Israel bashers are shining a spotlight on the “Jewish” involvement in this scandal.
Yes, Epstein, Weinstein, and the others are Jewish.
No, they don’t represent the Jewish people.
No, this isn’t some systemic problem of Judaism.
No, its not part of some Zionist Cabal.
But then, Jew haters today, whether loony tunes of the Far Right, Extreme Left, or your average garden variety, run-of-the-mill Farrakhanist Black Muslim, are running to blame Jews and Judaism anyway.
And, even genteel moderates who normally would call out the extremists on overt anti-Semitism, are having a field day blaming Israel, and could care less about reality.
Just like Balaam, Balak, the Moabites and Midianites, in this past Torah reading.
True Jewish leaders have to confront them, and the Jews who have brought disrepute to the good name of the Jewish people and the God of Israel, just as Pinchas did in his time!