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Comments (14)

(12) elizabeth kosmerl, July 23, 2012 4:26 PM

let us all heed this message in Torah

Let us apply this zealousness to our own who betray our trust and the trust of our children. Let us not turn away because it is easier and by so doing help the victimizer. Let us prosecute to the fullest extent of the law the people who abuse the souls left in their charge.

(11) Rachel Garber, July 17, 2012 1:45 AM

Protecting the university, instead of the victim

As a former CPS (child protective services) worker, I followed this story with deep despair and sadness. To say nothing of anger. I can't believe that not only was this permitted to continue as long as it did, but when the story finally came out, and Joe Paterno was "let go" that the student body as well as alumni were incensed, that they wanted trustees removed. I just couldn't believe the comments about the victims, that seemed to be an aftethought. When Joe Paterno died while the investigation was ongoing, people said he died of a broken heart, what bull, what a travesty. Aside from the ongoing priest abuse drama, that was also covered up for decades, this has to be one of the most reprehensible stories of child abuse, that I have heard in a very long time. Sports Ilustrated and similiar magazine rushed to print special "tribute" issue for Paterno, I was so incensed, everytime I was in the magazine section in whichever store I was in, I took another magazine and covered up his picture.

(10) Anonymous, July 16, 2012 1:41 PM

Think About It

Having trouble making the analogy of Phineas stand for his G-d and his people and the Penn State situ. Hate that Penn State is forever marked by the act of an individual. Hate more for the precious children who suffered at the hand of that scallywag. One observation about people in my country is that their vision is for themselves and maybe a few others, but never think in terms of how everyone is affected by their actions. If Sandusky thought for a moment about the impact of his actions on the children, the University, our society, our nation, he could not have committed such crimes on innocent people, but he thought of one thing, his selfish lusts. The person walking by and seeing him in the act and simply reports to his upline is as quilty, as is his upline. Why. Because he wanted someone else to take the risks for doing the "right" thing. Paterno, I believe, knew about this problem, as I believe, they all did. We do a good job of living the life, but true character and integrity of heart are not there. Did we need a Phineas at Penn State? No doubt. More though, we need a righteous people who love and fear the one true G-d of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

(9) Anonymous, July 16, 2012 3:51 AM

Yes!!

This is how people should live and it takes a lot of courage. Our society is the way it is because all of us collectively tolerate it. One person can do a lot to make this world a better place. Just one person can change everything.

(8) Anonymous, July 16, 2012 2:54 AM

No comparison between Paterno and Moshe

Although I greatly enjoy making connections between the going-ons in the world and the parsha, I think it is inappropriate to compare Moshe to Paterno. Yes Moshe may not have been able to tell Pinchas exactly what to do, but he was "a gadol shebigidolim" greater then great, and comparing him to Paterno who claims that he"did not know what to do", is in my opinion, wrong.

(7) H.E.Brown, July 16, 2012 1:39 AM

A SAD LEGACY

BE SURE YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT. What gets me is those who say Sandusky is pervert but a nice pervert. Can't have it both ways. Right is right wrong is wrong. Woe to those who say evil is good and good is evil.

(6) Henry Zvi Vaughn, July 16, 2012 1:08 AM

Here's the problem at the core of this message: >>>....he seeks out his leader, the head coach. But the coach himself doesn't know what to do. So nothing comes of it....>>> The coach knew exactly what to do: Call the police. Investigate the allegation. Seek swift and sure justice. Rabbi Simmons, don't you think that Paterno knew that this was "the right thing"? No, the coach knew what to do. He -- and the rest of the school's top officials -- didn't WANT to do it. Football at Penn State is a multi-milion dollar business. Apparently they thought that a few child rapes is a price worth paying as long as the big bucks keep rolling in. Moses didn't know what to do. Paterno fully knew what to do. This is a fllawed analogy.

Andy, July 16, 2012 10:31 AM

no plastic saints in Torah

I suspect that Moses also knew what to do but thought letting G-d handle it was the better option. It seems to me it was one of his few mistakes. Maybe not and only Pinchas was meant to take the law in his own hands. Seems a complex one time situation.It's interesting the sages say that if Pinchas had acted after the deed was completed he would have been guilty of murder and that if Zimri would have killed Pinchas in self defense he would have been justified. While true football is a multimillion dollar business at Penn State it's probably slander to say that Joe Paterno believed "a few child rapes is a price worth paying. I think his action was similar to the misguided logic[fear of being an informer] that sometimes prevents some in the Haredi community from turning over known pedophiles to the police.

(5) Joy, July 15, 2012 8:28 PM

Good post - good for Pinchas!

I now have a new-found respect for the name, "Pinchas," which, frankly, always amused me - it sounded so, well, Jewish!! Not at all anglicized (Lol)!! But "doing the right thing" - in this case, as in others - often takes more courage than we're required to have on a daily basis of going from one safe haven to another. Yes, were that grad student who came upon the molestation a bit more like Pinchas, imagine all the grief, crimes and just plain tsoris that could have been avoided! Paterno (as a potential Moses) might not have gone to his grave with so much disrespect attached to the whole enterprise he had so successfully helped establish.

(4) Sanford, July 15, 2012 2:33 PM

Ardent supporter of Penn State...

As an ardent, die hard Penn State fan, Joe Paterno admirer, and a Jew I have been seeking some type of lesson from the Penn State University fiasco. I am privileged to have been able to read this blog and see the connection between HaShem, the Torah, and todays world. As always HaShem's words are as relevant today as they day He gave them. I thank,toda, the writer of this blog for this lesson. Shalom to all!

(3) dovid, July 15, 2012 2:33 PM

The whole world needs a Pinchas.

The whole world needs a Pinchas. Even the charedi world needs a Pinchas.

(2) Barry jacobs, July 15, 2012 2:21 PM

Penn State tragedy

The people who refuse to resign from their official position should be legally forced to do so and criminally charged. Their actions are a reflection upon their character and the reputation of Penn State is tarnished. If their children were abused, how would they respond?

(1) E L, July 15, 2012 1:45 PM

"young man"?

Just a little technical detail: The "young man" Pinchas, I believe, was at least 60 years old at the time of this incident--If I'm not mistaken, he was counted among those who left Egypt (which means he was at least 20 when leaving Egypt), and this incident took place after wandering 40 years in the desert.

Yehudah Yingel, July 15, 2012 9:15 PM

Compared to whom?

EL is right on the money. But everything is relative. Moshe was the leader of the people. He was 120, and had no idea what to do. The only other person (apparently) who could have possibly acted was Pinchas. Pinchas at 60 was barely more than HALF as old as Moshe. I'd say that allows us to think of him, in this context, as a "young man." Another point: I just saw an Orthodox rabbi's devar Torah, asking why didn't Moshe or Aharon act instead of Pinchas. If Aharon was still alive at that pointt it might throw some doubt on how old Pinchas was. I mean, maybe it wasn't in the 40th year of the wilderness. i infer that Aharon was dead, contra the rabbi's claim. But I'm not an Orthodox rabbi and I don't know.

 

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