Dead people can’t consent: how sympathy porn and self-aggrandisement robbed a man of his final chance at dignity

Hat tip: Pam Hopf

Unfortunately too much 'good work' in the Jewish community is performative - for the benefit of the performer, as opposed to the recipient. Stories abound of one particular charity that talks a great game about 'giving back' but refuses to do anything that is actually required by the people who really need their help.

So when a Jewish man passed away recently, without anyone to mourn him, the ugly response was swift.

This man had been abandoned by rabbis and lay people alike throughout his life. But in death? There was a chance to make a meal of his suffering and use it in the pursuit of self-congratulation.

Had the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) not named the man, and had the rabbis in attendance not also named the man in print in The Australian Jewish News (AJN), and posted his name all over Facebook, I'd be prepared to turn a blind eye to the bullshit and cant of the rabbis' eulogies.

But they did name him. And the AJN, clearly more desperate for content than for basic decency, published their disgraceful invasion of privacy in two articles.

These rabbis - Daniel Rabin and Danny Mirvis - transformed the suffering of this poor man into 'likes' on their Facebook walls.

Did they know how this man would have felt about having his difficult circumstances plastered everywhere for everyone to see?

Would this man have wanted to be the object of communal pity?

How did this man feel about religion or rabbis - particularly a rabbi of a shul (Mizrachi synagogue) whose President hob-nobs with consorts of neo-Nazis?

Or, as Pam Hopf pointed out on Galus Australis Community, maybe this man avoided the rabbis for a reason.... a number of Australia's Orthodox rabbis were named in a Royal Commission for their bullying of victims of child sexual abuse. Others have been roundly condemned by secular judges for being corrupt. Yet others have gotten away with their crimes... so far.

There are countless unknowns here.

But Daniel Rabin and Danny Mirvis along with a rabbi called, Yosef Nerenberg didn't give a shit. They just assumed that their brand of Judaism was what the deceased would have wanted.

There is a concept in Judaism, called 'Met Mitzvah'.

It places particular value on the good deed of taking care of a deceased person with no family or friends because... and wait for it... there is supposedly *nothing to be gained for the people helping* - it is supposedly the purest good deed *because there is no reward* from family or friends for caring for a lone deceased person.

But in the frantic self promotion that followed this particular funeral, Rabin - and to a slightly lesser extent, Mirvis - completely abrogated the essence of Met Mitzvah.

This display was revolting on so many levels.

Dead men can't consent to having their loneliness and sadness broadcast all over the community.

Dead men can't consent to having rabbis use them in pursuit of professional advancement.

Lechol ish yesh shem....

Every man has a name...

But that does not give you the right to use that name to humiliate a man who cannot consent.

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