Tuesday, September 27, 2005

For the sin that I have sinned before You by eating at a kosher restaurant

It's that time of year, and I have a lot of al chets this time around.

This one, though is for a sin I committed during 5754, but didn't realize I was doing so until recently.

At the time, I was spending a lot of time in Washington, and I discovered the joys of the now-closed "Stacks" kosher deli. And excellent way to be able to eat out with Orthodox acquaintences, and the sandwiches weren't bad, if a little pricey, even by DC standards.

Then I found out that the place was owned by the infamous Jack Abramoff, who was described as a "Republican power-lobbyist." I also found out that the place had closed. Well, while I'm not the Republican type, I generally don't boycott the livelihoods of Republicans, so I didn't think too much about it. Then I read the recent stuff on Mr. Abramoff being dug out by Josh Marshall.

(a direct link to Mr. Marshall's blog here.)

Oy vey, this guy isn't just a "lobbyist," he's a double-dealing two-timing bagman for some corrupt political machine! I read again about his escapade with the Christian Coalition and his Indian Casino clients, oy, oy oy! is all I can say.

A shandeh fur die goyim!

Sure, I'm no naif. I know all about crooked Jews who have been involved in politics, serving all parties. But if half this stuff is true (and Mr. Abramoff has been indicted), never such crookedness on such a scale. Name me the sleaziest politically powerful Jewish Democrat from the period 1932-1980, and I don't think he (whoever he is) can come close to even a tenth, a hundredth of this Republican right-wing sleaziness. And Jewish Whistleblower (quoting the Washington Jewish Week) leaves us hints that the guy may have even been diddling the Va'ad Harabbanim of Greater Washington.

This guy is supposed to be a frum Orthodox Jew?

Anyway, I am extremely embarassed that I spent money in such a place. For this sin, may God forgive me, pardon me, and grant me atonement.

From now on, when I go to DC, I'm eating a Loeb's Deli (15th & I NW), it's not kosher, but it's classic New York Jewish style "glatt treif." The pastrami is pretty good. OK it doesn't have hasgacha, but eating such food is far lesser sin than giving money to Jack Abramoff.

8 Comments:

Anonymous uncle moishy said...

Abramoff is probably the sleaziest Jewish operator ever on the national scene -- certainly the sleaziest frum operator, since once upon a time the frum didn't have entree into arenas like this.

But it's certainly possible that Jews operating in local politics have been every bit as sleazy as Abramoff. In NYC, two Jewish Stanley's -- Friedman and Steingut -- ran the Democratic machines of the Bronx and Brooklyn respectively for a number of years in the 70's/80's. Friedman ended up going to jail for steering City contracts to companies he secretly (or not-so-secretly, ultimately) owned large stakes in. And those are just names I can name from my lifetime of listening with one ear.

Speaking of sleazy, the Clinton pardon of Marc Rich remains a great source of egg on the face of us anti-GOP types. But can you tell me (I no longer remember) what it was that forced Rich to flee the country in the first place? Something political perhaps? Or just run of the mill tax and/or investor fraud-type stuff?

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what is particulalry egregious about these guys is that what they're attenpting to do is set up a one-party state, or at least a 1 1/2 party state, where the Democrats would be allowed to exist, but not offer any meaningful opposition. And thery're doing this not by adopting policies that the public overwhemingly support, but by essentially acting like the mafia.

I mean, what Abramoff was running was basically a protection racket: "Nice business you have there. It would be too bad if you had some problem with the Federal Regulators. How about making a contribution to the Republicans?" It's not just corrupt businesses bribing weak politicans, it's corrupt politicans extorting businesses.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, what ever happened to giving someone a Zechus? Why not wait until he's been convicted before going on a Lashon Harah binge?

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