(Hat tip: Failed Messiah)
The Rubashkins sage continues to putter along south of the border in America. The latest development is the request by the prosecution for life in prison for Sholom Rubashkin as a result of his conviction for multiple crimes. Naturally the response from his defenders has been predictable. It's an outrage! It's not like he killed someone! Other people who have done similar things have gotten far less time in jail! It's anti-Semitism!
Something many people don't do, or don't do often enough, is reflect on how their actions affect other's perceptions of them. If they did a lot of bad behaviour might be avoided.
In the Rubashkin case this is obvious. As FailedMessiah exhaustively documents, the Rubashkins have, all along the way, not only failed to show remorse but have continued to allege that the state's entire prosecution is really an anti-Semitic witch hunt. With such an incorrigible attitude, is it any wonder an exasperated court system is throwing the book at them?
There is a time-honoured tendency in the frum community to circle the wagons when an external threat appears. For centuries this behaviour was not maladaptive but necessary for survival from such things as pogroms and blood libels. However, times and countries have changed. Not every attack on a Jew is because the person is a Jew. A failure to differentiate between the two types of attacks can only harm our interactions with the outside world.