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JV Editorial

Little Pharaohs



“When Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart, and he did not hearken to them, as the L-rd had spoken.” (Exodus 8:11)

Is there anything more offensive to our innate sense of justice than when someone in a position of power, holding another’s life in their hands, makes an agreement with them, only to renege when the other party fulfills their half of the bargain? This happened ten times between Pharaoh and the Jewish people. But ultimately, Pharaoh and his legions got their comeuppance.

Today, it seems that some of America’s own public servants are carrying on in the Pharaonic tradition, with seeming impunity.

Judge Linda Reade sentenced Sholom Rubashkin to 27 years in prison, two years more than the prosecution recommended. Reade was also actively involved in the investigation that led to his arrest. (“The enemy said: ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall impoverish them.’ “ –Ibid. 15:9)

That Linda Reade has not been disbarred from her profession is a mockery of the American justice system, and yet no one in the legal profession seems to care, save for the attorneys at Lewin & Lewin, who are trying to appeal the case but have been rebuffed up until now.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Pollard wastes away in a prison hospital, his health declining with each passing day. Despite a plea bargain in which he cooperated fully with the authorities, Pollard gets “special treatment” in that he received a life sentence for a crime that is almost never punished with more than a few years’ imprisonment.

Why? To make an example of him, of course! Just like Rubashkin.

Similarly, it appeared on numerous occasions that presidents were going to extend clemency to Pollard, only to have their hearts hardened by the Ribbono Shel Olam.

I’m not saying that Rubashkin and Pollard are good or bad, or that they, l’havdil, resemble Moshe Rabbeinu (nor, for that matter, each other).  But, like Moses and our forefathers, they bear unjust burdens laid upon them by vindictive little tyrants.

I only pray that our leaders’ eyes are opened to these and other grave injustices that continue to undermine the integrity of the U.S. legal system. Preferably, they should have their epiphanies before it starts raining frogs.

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