Eradicating Evil

I woke up yesterday morning to the news in the paper that 2 sex abuse trials in Pennsylvania had concluded. Jerry Sandusky was found guilty as was Monsignor William Lynn. These trials highlighted the sexual deviancy and the evil that both men perpetrated or covered up over many years. It also highlighted how many people must have known something was wrong but didn't act enough to stop it.

The Torah portion yesterday - Korach - provides a solution to such evil. Wouldn't it be a lot easier today if God could cause the earth to swallow all evil people as He did with Korach and his followers? It would certainly make our lives safer and easier, but of course it can't be. Instead it is up to us to take charge.

In the book of Leviticus we read - אל תעמוד על דם רעך - Don't stand by the blood of your fellow human being, which means that if we see a crime being committed, a wrong taking place, we must get involved and put a stop to it. We have no choice - it's what we must do to reflect the fact that we are all God's creatures.

And in the portion yesterday we have another reminder. Korach and his followers were told to bring their fire pans to the Tent of Meeting. After they were killed by God, God commands that the fire pans be plated onto the altar in the sanctuary as a perpetual reminder of Korach's actions. So too we need reminders so that we can constantly be motivated to turn evil aside and transform the crime into a blessing.

The victims of Sandusky and Lynn have been irreparably damaged, but perhaps these trials will prompt other cases to move forward and bring other predators to justice.