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Jewish World Review
Nov. 18, 2009
/ 1 Kislev 5770
Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder
There is nobody this side of a lunatic asylum that could have a kind word or
thought about Bernard Madoff. He has indiscriminately destroyed the
remainder of many people's lives, made wastes of the earlier parts of their
lives wherein they worked and saved for a financially secure old age that
will now never happen, and ruined many of the proud unique hallmarks of our
American civilization: our communal efforts to help the lives of others by
supporting and sustaining vast numbers of organized charities. To be fair,
he has also hurt people who sacrificed caution on the altar of their own
greed. Bill Clinton said, "If something looks too good to be true, it
Newspapers have run headlines like, "Burn in Hell" and people
publically compete with each other to suggest punishments, each one more
barbarous than the other.
Presently, Madoff is confined to a small cell under conditions
that compared to those the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay enjoy
should make them think that they have arrived at the Pearly Gates, or
wherever it is they believe to be their last deserved resting place. Madoff
is even denied the right to read, and since this presumably includes the
Bible, denies him the right to religious conversion - a state of grace for
which my fellow co-religionists and I wish would occur as soon as possible.
It is easy, in a society founded on the Judeo-Christian principles
of compassion, redemption and forgiveness to extend these virtues to
socially acceptable and attractive individuals. It is much harder to do so
with parasitic lice like the Madoffs of the world. To hold out a hand to a
hungry child is commendable, self-satisfying and comfortable. However, to
treat Madoff not with mercy, but in a way that allows him to undermine the
better angels of our nature, does more to harm us as human beings than he
could ever do, and in the last analysis, makes him and others like him, the
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© 2009, Jackie Mason & Raul Felder.