Jewish World Review July 24, 2003 / 24 Tamuz, 5763

Binyamin L. Jolkovsky

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Consumer Reports

Pity Kobe Bryant? I don't think so | Poor Kobe Bryant. Hey, I feel for the guy. In the weeks to come, his life is only going to get worse. But you know what? He brought it on himself. And so have the countless other celebs who set themselves up.

Now, I wasn't in Bryant's hotel room. But one thing should be obvious: The room service attendant, his accuser, should not have been. That would have prevented any claim of rape and, at the very least, would have stopped the adultery Bryant says he regrets having committed.

Kobe and other high-profile, deep-pocketed targets could learn a thing or two from religion.

Orthodox Jews, for example, practice what are known as the laws of Yichud: Non-relatives of mixed genders are not permitted to be in seclusion for any longer than a few seconds. That means no extended car rides in isolated areas, not entering an empty elevator that will not stop regularly at various floors and definitely no "room service" behind closed doors.

Radical? Probably, particularly given secular norms to which Americans (celebs, in particular) are accustomed. Then again, the concerns addressed by religion are precisely those ignored by folks like Bryant, who wind up in big trouble. And cause others — his wife, for sure; the victim, if he's guilty — enormous pain.

Is every guy a potentially out-of-control fiend? Hardly. Nor are most women seductresses.

But humans have powerful emotions and drives, and need to be kept in check.

Men who set themselves up, like Kobe Bryant, are tempting fate. Even if they are the victims of false charges, they are not exactly innocent.

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Binyamin L. Jolkovsky is editor-in-chief of This column also appeared in the New York Post. Comment by clicking here.


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