The revelation of pederasty within and its cover-up by the ultra-Orthodox community in Australia (“Child Sex-Abuse Scandal in Australia’s Jewish Community Spills Into U.S.,” February 24), is shocking but not surprising.

Similar episodes have been well documented in Brooklyn and New Jersey. They fit a pattern: sanctimonious retreats to arcane rabbinic law and ratiocination as an excuse to avoid the command of the Torah that “justice shalt thou pursue”. This is eerily similar to systematic behavior by the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to protect itself and its wayward priests from the consequences of such execrable conduct. The ultra-Orthodox must not be allowed to be the law unto themselves: They live in a civil and democratic society in which the rule of secular law applies to all, and from which they draw great benefit.

Such perfidy brings shame not only upon their sects, but upon all of Judaism.

Lawrence J. Rosenblum
Ashton, Md.

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