Sunday, January 20, 2013

Is "Love thy Enemy" a Jewish Value

As many readers know, the old Jewish Cemetery in Auckland was vandalised last year with anti-Semitic graffiti. It turned out that the perpetrator was not an organized anti-Semitic or Anti-Israel group, rather a couple of bored drunk teenagers with nothing better to do.

Interestingly, the Jewish community of Auckland is considering helping one of the young men fix up his life by helping him financially to get into university.

Sounds like a Kiddush HaShem and a chance to improve the image of the Jewish community in the eyes of at least one young man.

This from

Merciful Jews forgive Nazi grave vandal

The Jewish community has taken pity on one of the youths who desecrated graves at a cemetery in Auckland with Nazi symbols - causing worldwide outrage - and is even offering to pay his university tuition fees so he can turn his life around.
Robert Moulden, 19, pleaded guilty to a charge of intentional damage in the Auckland District Court last year and will be sentenced next month. His co-accused, Christian Landmark, 20, has pleaded not guilty and appears in court again on Tuesday.
More than a dozen headstones in the Jewish quarter of the Symonds St Cemetery were vandalised with images of swastikas and expletive-ridden anti-Israeli messages on October 19. It is proving incredibly difficult to remove paint from the porous headstones, which date back to the 19th century, and the repair job could cost as much as $50,000.
Moulden is a beneficiary, lives in a hostel in central Auckland, and says he has no family support. He has gone through a restorative justice programme with members of the Jewish community, has been taught about the Holocaust and has even gone to one member's house for a Friday night Shabbat dinner.
The chairman of the Jewish Council of New Zealand, Geoff Levy, confirmed that during a restorative justice meeting offers were made to pay for Moulden to attend engineering courses at AUT University.
"When we asked him what he wanted to do with himself he expressed a desire to follow engineering if he could," Levy said. "We've given this young man a chance to respond to the offers, and we've appointed someone to liaise with him to see whether he can be helped, or wants to be helped.
"He's going to have to want to do something himself. If we can help him, we're happy to do that. But it's got to be consistent with realising the damage he's done, paying the price that society demands of him and making sure it will not happen again.
"Hopefully we can provide him with support, mentoring and assistance in getting an education, so that he will be able to make the best decisions next time when faced with a choice."
It is understood others in the Jewish community are upset by the offer, believing Moulden does not deserve help. Levy admitted he was unsure if it was the right move, and nothing had been finalised.
Full article here:

1 comment:

Garnel Ironheart said...

Doing a kiddush HaShem is the Jewish value. Sometimes it means doing what these folks are doing. Sometimes it means kicking one's enemy's ass.