Sunday, December 14th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
It’s the weekend, so official reaction from Jewish groups has been limited, but communal boardrooms will be buzzing on Monday as the devastation apparently wreaked by Bernard Madoff, the onetime hedge fund mastermind, sinks in.
Madoff was arrested on Friday after admitting to colleagues that his hedge fund was a $50 billion sham – the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Concerns among Jewish leaders center on three issues.
The subtext of the controversy over the recent shocking remarks made by Yeshiva University rosh yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Schachter — where he appeared to advocate shooting the Israeli Prime Minister if the government would “give up Jerusalem” — is less about the rabbi himself and more about the division within the Orthodox community over da’as Torah [literally, Torah knowledge, but meaning possessing a higher level of Divine insight].