New Yorker’s Talmudic Account of a Madoff Panel

From 1/19/09 we replay this (lightly) Talmudic analysis in the New Yorker of Madoff, starting with the premise that he was a goniff which is worse than a gazlan. With sex expert Ruth Westheimer quoting the sage Hillel. Also appearing Michael Steinhardt talking of the, “Banality of investing.”

It was a clever current events report of a New York Jewish soiree that itself was an attempt to take a financial tragedy and try to kvetch it to death.

Reckoning: Thief or Crook?
by Lizzie Widdicombe

As anyone in New York can attest, there are multiple Bernie Madoff trials in the works, in addition to the bankruptcy case and the criminal one. “The Talmud makes a distinction between a thief and a crook,” Rabbi David Gaffney said last week, at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, on West Sixteenth Street, which was presenting a sold-out panel titled “Madoff: A Jewish Reckoning.” “A crook is somebody who comes in with a gun and holds people up. A thief is someone who comes in the night and steals his way into someone’s home. The thief is a more despicable person in the Jewish mentality, because he thinks he’s fooling God.”

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