Thursday, February 24, 2005

Why did a career drug addict choose to purchase drugs in a strip plaza frequented by Orthodox Jews? The drug dealing there that was widely known.


At 7:38 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

David Rosenzweig: A No-Trial Trial

Had a trial taken place to determine Christopher McBride’s guilt for killing David Rosenzweig, we would have witnessed a slow motion re-enactment of the moments prior to, during and after the crime, to determine intent, motivation and a perceived “reality” of what occurred.

Instead, a guilty plea negated a trial and a meticulous dissection of the actions surrounding David’s death on July 14, 2002. Despite this, questions surrounding the murder still require brave examination by our community, so that we will be able to repair some of the things that are broken from within.

McBride went to a strip plaza at Lawrence Avenue and Bathurst Street on a Saturday night to buy drugs. Why would a career addict choose to purchase drugs in a strip plaza frequented by Jews, including haredi yeshiva students?

It seems that McBride did indeed know, through the drug grapevine, that illegal substances were available at that strip plaza. Drug dealing at that corner was not a well-kept secret. In fact, drugs of all flavours are readily available at many such corners in our community.

The question, therefore, that needs to be addressed is: why is the supply and demand for drugs and alcohol so great in our neighbourhoods?

Let’s be blunt. Many members of the Jewish community – some as young as 14 – are alcoholics and/or hooked on dangerous substances, including heroin and crack. This problem exists in our day schools, yeshivot and shuls, and it affects all denominations. Every day, through my work with the homeless and affiliation with organizations such as JACS (which works with Jewish substance abusers), I hear about another Jewish youth in drug rehabilitation.

The question our leaders, including the Va’ad Harabonim and Toronto Board of Rabbis, courageously need to address is: why are many of our youth in so much pain that they jab their veins with needles?

Had their been a trial, this question would have punched us in the face. Instead, it is left up to us to deal with, for the sake of our children.

Had there been a trial, we likely would have asked: why are we not street-proofing our community?

On the evening of July 14, 2002, McBride pranced up a ramp to a pizza parlour, then entered and exited the eatery, all the while harassing the Saturday night crowd. Some individuals called 911 when a knife appeared, but others – campers – actually mocked McBride, a man clearly inebriated and oozing hatred.

Why was most of this Saturday night crowd unaware of how to deal with such an individual? Why are we not street-proofing our community members, despite the fact we consistently bemoan the level of anti-Semitism in our streets?

Furthermore, what of these campers? Did it not occur to them that verbally jabbing an intoxicated maniac, after seeing “fuck cops” tattooed on his knuckles, might be perilous and demonstrate a lack of derech eretz (respect) toward themselves and the Jewish community?

Some journalists in the mainstream media suggested that the campers’ disrespect gave McBride a reason for his deadly actions. This in itself is disrespectful. McBride murdered David because of the criminality of his 21 miserable years leading up to that night – not the ignorant trickery of foolish little boys.

Had there been a trial, however, we would have wondered about the crudity of these campers and why they didn’t understand that derech eretz is something we actualize because of who we are, not for the sake of the criminal standing opposite us.

Finally, how come no one from that camp ever called my sister Chavi to express condolences and apologize for the campers’ behaviour?

David is gone. There will be no trial, except the one we impose upon ourselves. Never again.


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