The news of how Shomrim societies operate (“Tragedy In Borough Park Puts Shomrim Under Scrutiny,” July 22) is shocking. It is tragic that these societies and the communities in which they are based seem to be more concerned with rabbinic laws about mesirah (informing on a Jew) than the biblical laws such as pikuach nefesh (saving a life). They are, of course, also transgressing the civil laws for reporting sexual abuse. Their practice, endorsed by their rabbis, of not sharing their list of molesters with the police is not only morally wrong, but a chillul Hashem (a desecration of God’s name).
It’s time that these communities adapt to the reality that they are no longer living under the regime of a malevolent, anti-Semitic czar. The fervently Orthodox seem stuck in a time warp keeping them about three centuries behind the times. Unfortunately they are also stuck in an antiquated moral universe. It’s time for updating. Their worldview needs a major corrective.