Jewish leaders calling for ethical renewal
On the eve or Rosh Hashanah, Jewish leaders in the United States are asking rabbis to emphasize the faith's ethical requirements in their sermons in response to recent financial scandals involving its members, the Associated Press is reporting.
Jews have been embarrassed the past year by the arrest of former Wall Street tycoon [Bernie] Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison sentence for defrauding investors out of billions of dollars, and several rabbis who were arrested in July on money laundering charges, said Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University in New York.
Widely distributed images showed them being led into the FBI building in Newark in rabbinical garb and handcuffs didn't help.
Locally, Rabbi Jay Kenneth Wagner, the assistant principal at Yeshivat Rambam Maimonides Academy of Baltimore, was indicted this week on charges of stealing more than $13,000 in school checks that he deposited into his own bank account,
"It's troubling," Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, which comprises about 1,000 rabbis in the U.S., Canada and Israel, tells AP reporter Victor Epstein. "Ethical living is as significant a part of leading a religious life as ritual law."