Monday, April 04, 2011

Judge Goldstone and the Metzora

This coming Shabbat we will read about the purification of the Metzora. The Hebrew word Metzora is commonly translated as leper, and Tzara'at as leprosy. However, the affliction, as described in the Torah, seems to have nothing to do with leprosy.

Our sages taught us that one who engages in slander contracts tzara'at. They saw the word Metzora as an acronym: Motzi Shem Ra, a disparager.
How is such a person to be dealt with?:
45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall go loose, and he shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry: 'Unclean, unclean.' 46 All the days wherein the plague is in him he shall be unclean; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his dwelling be.
He is sent outside of the city to dwell alone, where he will have nobody to socialize with except for others of his ilk. Then he will have time to comtemplate the damage that he caused and hopefully repent.

It is hard not to see the similarity between Judge Richard Goldstone and the Metzora. He has been ostracized by most of the Jewish community because of the outrageously defamatory "Goldstone Report". He was sent out of the camp, where he dwells with his supporters, a diverse collection of Jew-hating slanderers, the filthiest dregs of humanity.

Unfortunately, Goldstone remains "unclean". His so-called retraction of his libel is a vain exercise in disingenuousness:
We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.
Nonsense! He willingly took part in an openly impartial investigation by an openly biased group. This was not a problem of not knowing the facts; the problem was not wanting to know the facts. Judge Goldstone, who exactly are you trying to fool?

The damage has been done. Goldstone's half-hearted reconsideration of his "report" is far too little, far too late. Judge Goldstone will go down in imfamy, a paradigm of one that chased honor, only to have it flee from him.

Extra credit: Read this!

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