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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 17, 2009 / 21 Adar 5769

Why no one defends Bernard Madoff

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The bilked have provided numerous sound bites denouncing Bernie Madoff as "evil," a word whose true meaning is sometimes difficult to grasp in our "nonjudgmental" age.


The definition of evil can be imprecise. Dictionary.com makes a run at it: "morally wrong or bad." According to whom and according to what? Is evil something we see only in others when we define it according to our subjective standards, or is it so embedded in each of us that we work overtime to hide it, not only from ourselves, but from everyone else?


Here is the dirty secret about the Madoff tragedy. Madoff is us. Yes, he is. Do not throw down your newspaper in disgust. We are all potential members of "Swindler's List." Do you know why our gut reaction is so strong and so hostile to Bernard Madoff ("I hope he rots in jail," said one of his "victims")? It is because he mirrors the flaw in each of us. We instinctively react to such people because they strip away our facade and reveal what theologians used to call "sin," before we became "dysfunctional" and in need of medication, not salvation. In extreme circumstances, we have crucified people who exposed our darkness to the light.


"It takes two to tango," my mother used to say when someone's affair was exposed. Madoff could not have prospered without willing participants. People who otherwise exhibited intelligence in their business and personal affairs were seduced by the old get-rich-quick scheme that has suckered humanity for millennia.


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Everyone knows, don't they, that a guaranteed return on such investments is impossible? Everyone knows, don't they, that financial reports, with no audits or oversight, and coming from the one with whom you have invested, is a prescription for fraud? And yet the partners in this "tango" were all too happy to dance because their leading man held them tightly and played music they loved to hear. But Madoff's crimes cut doubly deep because he robbed his own.


"No one since Julius Rosenberg has so damaged the image and self-respect of American Jews," said Mort Zuckerman, who runs a charitable trust that lost $30 million to Madoff.


"It really is a shame we Jews don't believe in hell," writes Rob Eshman, The Jewish Journal. "What kind of world is it where Jews can't trust fellow Jews? ... There's a name for that kind of world — hell."


[Editor's note: For the record, Jews most certainly do believe in hell, known in the holy tongue as gehenom]


"I'd like to believe someone raised in our community, imbued with Jewish values, would be better than this," said Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.


So would I, but greed is greed, immorality is immorality and evil is evil.


Recall those who turned over the names of neighbors and colleagues to Joseph McCarthy. What about the Catholic Church that shielded pedophile priests? Slaves often gave up runaway slaves. The Spanish Inquisition had those whose ignominy helped it along. Evangelical Christians turn on Evangelical Christians. Protestants turn on Protestants. Recall the traitors in the Nazi death camps who turned in their fellow prisoners in order to curry favor with the guards they hoped would spare their lives.


That evil has its enablers does not excuse the Nazis, Catholics, the Inquisitors nor Madoff, but it should give pause to all of us who denounce Madoff in ways that make us feel superior to him and incapable of performing evil acts of our own.


In his book, "The Body," Charles Colson, writes about the trial of Adolph Eichmann. Among the witnesses was Yehiel Dinur, who had escaped death in Auschwitz. On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth, the man who murdered Dinur's friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. Dinur shouted and sobbed, collapsing on the floor.


Had hatred of Eichmann, or horrendous memories, caused his strong reaction? No. As he later explained in a riveting "60 Minutes" interview it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil Dinur had expected. Rather, he was an ordinary man, just like anyone else. Dinur realized that sin and evil are the human condition. "I was afraid about myself," Dinur said. "I saw that I am capable to do this ... exactly like he. Eichmann is in all of us."


Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, "Nothing is easier than denouncing the evildoer; nothing more difficult than understanding him."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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