It doesn’t matter
how red the apple
on the outside,
how succulent and crisp
or how it glows
perched on a branch.
it only takes one worm
to toss the apple out
Like the worm in the apple, so are the Jews behaving badly, the actions of a few can spoil the good deeds of many. As a small nation spread far and wide, some people will meet only one or two Jews in their lifetime that they will know of and sadly, the moments they will remember will be either the very good or the very bad. In this way, each Jew bares the responsibility of representing the entire nation wherever they go.
When I was in a fraternity in college, we were not allowed to wear our letters when going out for fear that it may bring bad light to the fraternity. Any misconduct was severely reprimanded and resulted in expulsion. Forty guys on campus with one bad act could easily bring disgrace upon all in spite of many good acts.
It is the same with Jews, one bad act can bring disgrace to the entire community. It is thus imperative that the community treat all misdeeds with quick condemnation.
“Do not contaminate the gene pool” my adviser used to say. Miserly conduct, intolerance, hate and other improprieties in one individual can bring a stereotype on all.
This is a call to Jews, to shine light on the bad, to not cower in attempt to insulate from the world because that is a false insulation, it is an insulation that breeds contempt. For those who pardon grave misdeeds, are also guilty of corroboration or at the very least can be seen as in some way to give approval of the action.
Let us not be like those we condemn for rewarding awful actions, let us stop extolling our virtues, they speak for themselves, instead let us make ourselves better by weeding out those worms from our apples, in that way we will have dignity and confidence to go forth and there will be nothing for the world to hold against.
We should condemn actions of the Bernie Madoffs, Steven Cohens and the utterly reprehensible Nehemaya Weberman. The community needs to show that we are not above self criticism and we do not stand for people of our culture and history representing us in such poor light. Being first to condemn means not being condemned. Jews are proud of good acts and quick to show off the good but one must be equally fast to prevent immoral actions that bring harm to the world and community.