Thursday, February 22, 2007

Of King Solomon and Rabbinic Child Molesters

“And it was in Shlomo’s old age and his wives turned his heart after foreign gods and his heart was not completely with the Lord his God like the heart of David his father.” (Kings I 11:4)

What does it mean when the T’nach talks about Shlomo worshipping idols? In the rabbinic tradition it is taken to mean that he allowed his wives to worship idols and he did nothing to stop it so it is therefore considered, in some sense, as if he himself worshipped idols. Shlomo was not just a wise but fallible old man, he was a monarch with absolute authority. With absolute authority comes absolute responsibility. Because Shlomo was in such a position of power it was perfectly justifiable for T’nach to place absolute blame upon him and view him as an idolater.
As any thinking person should have realized by now, the real issue at stake in the Yehuda Kolko case is not Yehuda Kolko. Kolko by himself is simply a child molester no more no less. This case is really about the Haredi rabbinate, otherwise known as the gedolim, who allowed Kolko to teach at Torah Temimah and work at summer camps for thirty years. This case raises some interesting questions about the concept of daat Torah. The Haredim of course view their gedolim as absolute infallible authorities and as such not subject to challenge by mere mortals such as you or me. This being the case then how does one understand the fact that these gedolim failed to catch Kolko? If one believes that the Haredi gedolim are simply wise but fallible old men then, in theory at least, it is possible to simply say they failed in this instance and that in the future better safe guards are needed. This sort of position is perfectly viable for someone in my situation. Just as I could care less what these people think about science and evolution so to I could care less what these people think are the best ways to protect children from child molesters. But for anyone who believes that the gedolim must be viewed as having absolute authority then the Kolko case raises some serious problems. If the gedolim have absolute authority then, as Shlomo was viewed as an idolater by T’nach, the gedolim themselves must be viewed as being child molesters. They allowed it to happen so therefore they must bear absolute blame for it. So when Kolko pulled down the pants of children and touched them it was not he who did it; it was every single one of the gedolim.

1 comment:

Jersey Girl said...