Jun 5, 2008
Three rodfim in Japan
R' Moshe Grylk, the editor of the Mishpacha Magazine, wrote a knockout editorial in last week's edition.
The editorial was on the topic of the three yeshiva boys who were arrested in Japan for smuggling (hard drugs supposedly).
The past few weeks, there have been many calls for assistance for these young men who were enticed into carrying a suitcase to Japan. They did not know what was inside, but whatever it was they were offered as compensation must have convinced them not to ask any questions.
So they took a risk, now they are sitting in a jail in Japan possibly facing 12 years for their crime. The conditions in Japanese jails are extremely harsh, as a way of deterring crime (I think the Western world is wrong for not making their jails just as harsh, but they make it like summer camp behind bars, giving prisoners all sorts of rights) and the boys are suffering under very harsh conditions.
As I have said once before, I am kind of ambivalent to their plight, as they committed a crime and got caught. Why is that Pidyon Shvuyim? but while I am ambivalent, others are more attuned to the chessed wavelengths and want to help despite the fact that these boys are guilty of a crime.
So, we have seen flyers calling for monetary donations to help them get legal assistance and political influence. the flyers talk about how they were duped, they had no idea, how great the mitzva of redeeming captives is, etc.
So R' Grylk wrote an editorial. While he did not touch on the topic of pidyon Shvuyim and whether he thinks this categorization does or does not apply in this case, and whether we should or should not be helping them, he did write about the situation.
R' Grylk blasted these boys for putting all Jews at risk just so they could make some money for carrying a suitcase. Because of them, and a number of other recent similar incidents in other places, frum jews are being spotted and stopped at customs stations in ariports around the world, as they are considered highly suspect as possible smugglers.
As R' Grylk said, these boys, these people who smuggle, they share with us the ramifications of being caught, but they were not willing to share with us the ramifications of not being caught.
In other words, had they slipped through and not been caught, they would have deposited in their bank accounts a nice sum of money. They wiould not have shared that with me or with you. now that they were caught, you and I both have to suffer the ramifications of his smuggling, as they gave a bad name to frum jews all over.
Grylk asks where are the askanim getting Rabbonim to sign declarations saying it is prohibited to smuggle or to carry suitcases for other people? They sign papers on so many issues banning things and warning us of various possible spiritual stumbling blocks, why can they not do so to stop this phenomenon of people carrying suitcases for others, and getting caught?
While Grylk does not come out and say that this is not pidyon shvuyim and that they should just be allowed to sit out their crime in jail, he does say he does not forgive them for their crime, for the chillul Hahsem they caused or for the problems they have caused for frum jews all over the world, and he does not forgive the smugglers who not get caught either. They have no right to put the rest of us in any danger. Grylk calls them rodfim against the rest of us.