July 13, 2012 – Having known Menachem Levitin since he was three years old, these financial shenanigans come as a shock. It is also a reminder to all of us, about the possibility of serious damages that could be rectified with social service rather than jail.
According to the Torah, teshuva/repentance is a constant and urgent option. I gather that Levitin has already been stripped of all his assets and is prepared for a hefty fine.
To put an energetic 27-year-old into jail for an extensive, idle time would be like death.
What would it take for our legal system to give him extensive mandatory social service, maybe in the very community of African-Americans where he had various businesses (even giving jobs to unemployed young men)? Thereby, a young man could complete the process of “teshuva” and perhaps have a fresh start as an honest man.
As the whole world seeks more effective standards of justice to our wide spread criminal problems, we may find wisdom in Torah’s insistence that one rectify wrongs with positive action instead of corrosive idleness.
Dr. Vera Schwarz