Chaim Ingram

Ki Tavo: Verbal Weapons of Mass Corruption

Accursed is he who perverts justice (and blessed is he who doesn’t)……. Accursed is he who takes a bribe (and blessed is he who doesn’t)  (Deut 27:19, 25)

These two imprecations in our Sidra, alongside their corresponding blessings (Sota 32a, 37b) were two of the twelve dramatic pronouncements to be made by the Levites to the twelve tribes between the mountains of Gerizim and Eval. The pronouncements principally cover sexual and social wrongdoing. The fact that two of them focus upon the same theme, namely bribery and corruption, emphasizes the gravity of this wrong.

We confess to it too, eight times, on Yom Kippur. Al chet shechatanu lefaneikha be-chapat shokhad. Literally translated it means “for the sin which we have committed before You in the palm – or grasp –  of bribery”. Bribery, whether with money or with more subtle means, entraps us in its grasp if we are not exceedingly careful.

There is a particularly insidious form of bribery happening in contemporary society which is manipulating the minds of the multitude. When an individual expresses an opinion which is not seen to fall within the parameters of what is deemed to be politically correct, the reaction will invariably be a stream of bigoted and intolerant invective from these self-proclaimed liberal-minded souls: You’re a dinosaur! You’re out of step, you haven’t moved on, you belong in the last century! Go crawl into your hole! The clear, unambiguous message: Only if you conform to our doctrines will you be accepted in the ranks of enlightened, forward-thinking contemporary society!

Reasonably-minded, level-headed citizens of the West are being bribed, bulldozed, bullied or possibly blackmailed into adopting attitudes and positions which do not sit well with them because they are terrified of being labelled ideological “dinosaurs”, out of step with the world.

We are seeing it with the worldwide Left-led movement to discredit Israel at all costs. Large swathes of global society, if they could turn the clock back, would deny Israel her statehood today, a statehood the world offered us reluctantly with a collective guilty conscience three years after the Sho’a. Anyone who cannot “see” that Zionist “imperialism” “racism” and “apartheid” is the reason for all of today’s Middle East ills  is “out of step” with “enlightened” thought. So the mantra goes. And sadly the minds of some of our own brothers and sisters are being ‘bought’, manipulated and sucked into the ugly maelstrom of (self-)hate.

We are also seeing it in the exponential cancerous spreading of the insidious doctrine of intersectionality which holds that groups are defined purely by perceived power and powerlessness and that the latter are by definition the exploited whereas the former (which of course includes Jews) are ipso facto the exploiters.

Truly the mind-altering nature of this societal brainwashing is as dangerous and insidious in its way as any drug. And again, Jewish minds and hearts have not been immune to the constant heavy propaganda. Some believing Jews have even been brainwashed into imagining so-called marriage equality (a euphemism for homosexual marriage) to be a plank of tikun olam (Heaven help us!) despite the Torah’s clear view on the matter.

We are experiencing a global kulturkampf of epic proportions. (I do not speak here of the Islamic revolution – that is a subject for another time.) Which side of the moral divide will we take? Will we barrack for the Ephemerals or the Eternals? The Corruptibles or the Morally Principleds? And which side will triumph?

Battles have been lost but, with G-D’s help the ‘war’ will be won by those on the right side!

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Ingram is the author of five books on Judaism. He is a senior tutor for the Sydney Beth Din and the non-resident rabbi of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. He can be reached at
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