Thursday, December 25, 2008

Public Figures with skeletons in the closest

There is an old joke:

Dear Abby
I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Any suggestions? - Sam

Dear Sam
Yes. Run for public office.

Well apparently the concept of public figures being scrutinized for skeletons in the closet is not a new concept.

Yesterday's Daf said that we can assume that anyone who worked as a Gabai Tzdaka has no problems with his "yichus" (which in this case really means that he is a Kosher Jew). The assumption is that if his grandfather was a Mamzer, the information would have come out when he came round to collect money, i.e. the media would scrutinize him as a public figure:

מסכת קידושין דף עו, ב
וגבאי צדקה משיאים:
מאי טעמא כיון דמנצו בהדי אינשי דאמר מר ממשכנים על הצדקה ואפילו בערב שבת ואם איתא דאיכא אית ליה קלא
Kiddushin 76B
Or collectors of Tzedakah (don't have to be checked for lineage):
This is because they quarrel with people. We may take securities for money that people must give to Tzedakah, even on Erev Shabbos; If there were any lineage problems, they would be known.

I guess that the more things change, the more they stay the same....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great piece of tzedakah Torah. yasher koach. if only more people would be more i quote on my website:

"How much better would the Jewish world be if we could apply the same obsessive-compulsiveness to tzedakah that we do to cleaning for Pesach?" -- BZ, "Mah Rabu" Blogspot.

happy hanukah,

arnie draiman