Oy Vey. the Summer of Jews Behaving Badly

By Rothenberg, Stuart | Roll Call, July 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

Oy Vey. the Summer of Jews Behaving Badly


Rothenberg, Stuart, Roll Call


It has been a bad couple of weeks for my people.

No, I don't mean journalists. I mean the Jews.

First, it was Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger who was suspended for 65 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug program. As the New Republic's Marc Tracy put it, "Braun used banned performance-enhancing drugs, and then lied about it and impugned the character of his urine collector, and then lied about it some more and in ever more flamboyant manners."

Technically, according to Jewish law, Braun, who grew up in Los Angeles, isn't Jewish. His father is Jewish but his mother is Catholic, and the home run hitting outfielder has said that he did not have a bar mitzvah, didn't observe Jewish holidays and didn't attend religious services.

But he was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Hall of Fame, has identified himself as Jewish and was quoted in USA Today saying, "I'm extremely proud to be a role model for young Jewish kids."

Jewish and non-Jewish athletes have cheated before, and they will cheat again. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who isn't a member of my tribe (or the Tribe), apparently is going to get an even longer suspension -- something even Yankee fans are rooting for, since it will help his team get under the luxury tax next year. But Braun's behavior, including denials, is a blow to those of us who took pride in his accomplishments.

But if Braun has proven to be a disappointment, what is there to say about Anthony Weiner? Are there any words to describe this guy? I've heard him described as "sick" and "narcissistic." I'd add delusional and arrogant, though most of the words I associate with him are unprintable. He, too, is an embarrassment for the Jewish community.

It's as if Weiner is an addict who can't live a modest private life of humility. He needs attention. He needs people to vote for him. He needs power. Actually, he needs a punch in the nose.

"I won't let political pundits influence my decisions," Weiner said about calls for him to exit the race, apparently not understanding that his inner voice ought to be telling him to slither out of the public square.

Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, who is not Jewish, doesn't deserve any of the praise or sympathy she has received for standing by her man. By "supporting" his ego trip and delusional goal, she has been an enabler, not part of the solution. …

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