Monday, January 6, 2014

The Curious Case of Max Stark

Ed's Note:  This is only partially a post on Mr. Stark.  This is really a post about the lack of ethics in the Jewish community as a whole and how that is destroying the moral fabric of our society.  So there.  That's some heavy shit.

Losing the forest from the trees.

In my own humble opinion, that's what the Jewish community is doing here.  Losing sight of the forest from the trees.

Was the Post's title and article reprehensible?  Of course. Does a slumlord deserve to die because he plastered over the sprinkler heads in his illegal lost conversions?  Of course not. Is that besides the point?YES.  Huge yes.

Up front disclaimer:  No matter what, Mr. Stark's death is a tragedy for his family and certainly something which was "undeserved".  No one deserves to die for being an allegedly bad guy (or a partial bad guy).

We are having rallies against the Post (a paper, by the way, which staunchly has the back of Israel and Jews in general perhaps more than any other except the Journal).  But we are losing sight of the bigger picture.

This man allegedly was involved with bad guys,.  He allegedly had tens of millions in bad debts.  He allegedly lent money to Jews with a 30% vig.  He was allegedly reported for fondling a woman on the subway.

The list goes on and on.  And the answer?  He was a tremendous philanthropist who gave tons of money to Jews.

Regardless of the source of those funds.  Regardless of the lives stepped on in the process.

Here's my question - the one I'd like to see asked - Does God even want tainted charity?  Everything I've ever been told on this subject by people whose opinions I care about suggests that it's better for organizations and schools and rabbis to not take tainted money than use tainted money for good purposes. In other words, when it comes to ill gotten charitable gains, the ends do not justify the means.

If that's the case then the excuse of "well he gave a lot of money to charity" would never be a white-wash for a person'r misdeeds. So that so many names we see on the sides of buildings would be rolled over with titanium paint so that they will never again see the light of the sun.

Losing the forest in the trees.

Our lives, our beliefs are compromised.  Compromised by our desire for gold.  By our leaders looking the other way.  By our own lust and greed.  By everything which ill gotten gains can buy - honor, possessions, other.  It's all gone sour. and we can pretend that the ends justify the means, but they do not.  And as even our most segregated communities begin to fall prey to this, where does that leave us as a people?

Was Mr. Stark an outlier, or just one in an assembly line of the new paradigm - the new cookie cutter.  Our new god - the god of money.


  1. Very, very true. ANd I'd like to hope he's the exception rather then the rule. Unfortunately, it seems that you can't go a week without some news story about a jew stealing or exhorting or obtaining money in some other illegal way.

    It's wrong t steal from anyone- even people you don't know, even large corporations, even he government.


  2. My thoughts are that the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. Re the Post, its a bloody tabloid. They sell papers by having sensational headlines. What has happened is exactly what they wanted. They have been getting insane attention and an inordinate amount of hits on their site in the past couple days.

    Regarding Max and his lifestyle, first off, he has yet to be convicted of anything in a court of law. Second, as a smaller and more insular community, we are simply more prone to hear of the fellows who act in such ways. I do a lot of work with Armenians, and they always complain to me how people view their entire community as cheats. The reality is that most of them are obviously good people. However, as a small community they often get the reputation of their loudest members. Do we have issues in our community, yes. Same as any other community. Do people worship money. 100%. Are they all criminals, definitely not. Do some of them do wonderful things with the money they worship. Yes.

    1. The question is are they doing "wonderful things" with ill gotten gains and if so, does God want that money?

  3. I agree with this post.
    And all the people saying "How can the Post do that? Aren't they thinking about his children?"
    The real question is: "When he was doing all these actions...was he thinking about his children?"