Can A Synagogue Give A Known Pimp An Aliya?
Sex-Trafficking-500Can a synagogue give a Torah honor to a known pimp? This question was asked of a gadol, leading haredi rabbi, and was answered. The answer may surprise you.
Can a synagogue give a Torah honor to a known pimp? This question was asked of a gadol (leading haredi rabbi) and was answered by him.
That rabbi was the Ben Ish Hai, Rabbi Yosef Haim ben Elijah Haham of Baghdad (1835-1909), the leading Sefardi haredi rabbi in the world and the Av Beit Din, president, of the Baghdad rabbinical court. His answer was published in a book of his responsa, Rav Pe'alim.
The question and his paraphrased answer posted below comes from Trafficking and Prostitution: Lessons from Jewish Sources, Naomi Graetz and Julie Cwikel, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies 20 : 25-58:
Question: What happens when there is only one Cohen in town and he happens to be a Shabbat violator, can he be called up to the Torah? And what happens if in this small town there is only one Levi and he is a pimp, can he be called up to the Torah for an aliya?
R. Joseph qualifies the question: it wasn’t stated if this is a pimp who practices exclusively among “goyim” or among Jews as well.“I will relate to both cases.” In the first case, if the clientele is non-Jewish the bottom line is that it is possible to honor the pimp. But in the second case,(if Jews are involved) if he brings a non-Jewish prostitute to Jews or Jewish women to non-Jews, he cannot be called up to the Torah.
But it is not easy to deny a Levi his honors and so R. Joseph in his final judgment writes that despite the fact that the profession of pimping is frowned upon, if it is just alleged that he deals in prostitution with Jews, he can still be honored.
`Another answer from me. A synagogue could give Jeffrey Dahmer aliyah because these aliens have nothing to do with the Israelites of the Bible. They believe the Israelites are gone and only the people of Judah are left. The whole thing is a sack of horsedung.