Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set? The conscious use of placebos

NY Times    One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer.

The subjects were in good health, but aging had left its mark. “This was before 75 was the new 55,” says Langer, who is 67 and the longest-serving professor of psychology at Harvard. Before arriving, the men were assessed on such measures as dexterity, grip strength, flexibility, hearing and vision, memory and cognition — probably the closest things the gerontologists of the time could come to the testable biomarkers of age. Langer predicted the numbers would be quite different after five days, when the subjects emerged from what was to be a fairly intense psychological intervention. 

Langer had already undertaken a couple of studies involving elderly patients. In one, she found that nursing-home residents who had exhibited early stages of memory loss were able to do better on memory tests when they were given incentives to remember — showing that in many cases, indifference was being mistaken for brain deterioration. In another, now considered a classic of social psychology, Langer gave houseplants to two groups of nursing-home residents. She told one group that they were responsible for keeping the plant alive and that they could also make choices about their schedules during the day. She told the other group that the staff would care for the plants, and they were not given any choice in their schedules. Eighteen months later, twice as many subjects in the plant-caring, decision-making group were still alive than in the control group.

To Langer, this was evidence that the biomedical model of the day — that the mind and the body are on separate tracks — was wrongheaded. The belief was that “the only way to get sick is through the introduction of a pathogen, and the only way to get well is to get rid of it,” she said, when we met at her office in Cambridge in December. She came to think that what people needed to heal themselves was a psychological “prime” — something that triggered the body to take curative measures all by itself. Gathering the older men together in New Hampshire, for what she would later refer to as a counterclockwise study, would be a way to test this premise.

Placebo effects have already been proven to work on the immune system. But this study could show for the first time that they work in a different way — that is, through an act of will. “As far as we know today, the placebo responses in the immune system are attributable to unconscious classical conditioning,” says the Italian neuroscientist Fabrizio Benedetti, a leading expert in placebo effects. In Benedetti’s experiments, a suggestion planted in the minds of test subjects produced physiological changes directly, the way a dinner bell might goose the salivary glands of a dog. (In one study, healthy volunteers given a placebo — a suggestion that any pain they experienced was actually beneficial to their bodies — were found to produce higher levels of natural painkillers.) “There’s no evidence that expectations play a role as well,” Benedetti says. Langer plans to further analyze the subjects’ saliva to see whether they actually have the rhinovirus and not just elevated IgA. [...]

Terror Attack in Jerusalem - Hamas says it is natural for them to kill babies

Arutz 7   A baby girl was killed and eight people were injured Wednesday, after a terrorist hit them with his car outside the Givat Hatachmoshet (Ammunition Hill) Light Rail stop.

"A private car hit passengers from the light rail near the police national headquarters. The car's driver attempted to escape and was shot, apparently by a police officer from the Jerusalem district," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

Footage of the attack has now begun to circulate. The grainy security video appears to show a white car careening across the median and straight at pedestrians, mowing down one of them.

One of the wounded, a three month-old girl, died after being rushed to Hadassah Har HaZofim (Mount Scopus). She has now (8:00 pm) been named as Chaya Ziso, hy"d.

Shimon Helperin, the infant's grandfather, toldArutz Shevathat the Ziso family - which had been waiting for a child for years - had been returning from prayers at the Western Wall (Kotel) when they were struck by the terrorist. [...]

"This is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation and invasion of our land by the Jews, particularly on the Al-Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount - ed.)," Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran stated on official Hamas television.[...]

Allan Katz - Shemittah and meeting your kids' nutritional needs

Guest post by Allan katz

I recently said to a friend – that the people who cannot  afford the expensive ' hechsherim' , the super glatt meat, the suits and Borsalino hats, women's wigs and Pei'ot , the imported or Nochri fruit and vegetables during Smittah, bug free ( but plenty of insecticide ) vegetables are buying these products , while those who can afford them don't. And it is not  just a question of different communities spending money on different things or having different priorities, but it seems that the poorer communities are cutting back on healthy nutrition and this  is impacting on kids' health development with problems of underweight kids and malnutrition. Stringent bug-free standards for vegetables mean that kids may also be missing out on many important green and leafy vegetables.

There is a video clip of the Harav Ovadia Yosef Z'TL on the -Credibility of the Heter Me'chirah hechsher . The interesting point for me was his statement that if you have extra money to spend, buy produce from the Otzar Beit Din. I have heard his son, the chief rabbi of Holon remark how families and especially the bigger families could not afford to pay the exorbitant prices of the Smittah le'mehadrin produce and meet the nutritional needs of their families.

I was wondering whether parents , educators and rabbis reflect on the saying – when you are machmir in one area you are mei'kel in another area ?

Rabbi Barry Freundel - prominent Modern Orthodox leader - arrested on voyeurism charge

Update: Oct 22,2014 RCA suspends R Freundel's membership
Wusa 9

The Rabbinical Council of America's President Rabbi Leonard Matanky and Executive Vice President Rabbi Mark Dratch said in a statement released Monday:

"First and foremost, our hearts continue to go out to the individuals who were converted to Judaism by Rabbi Freundel whose trust was violated and who have worried about their personal status. We pray for the welfare of all victims, including the many women who used the Kesher Israel mikvah for taharat hamishpacha (family purity) purposes, and for the continued strength and healing of the Kesher Israel community, which is a vibrant center of our sacred Torah and that is suffering greatly at this time. We also feel for the Freundel family and offer them our support during this difficult personal time."

RCA also announced that Rabbi Freundel's membership was suspended from the RCA and its Executive Committee, "and together with the Beth Din of America from all activities related to conversion." RCA officials, however, say that "...the Beth Din of America has concluded as a matter of Jewish law that conversions performed by Rabbi Freundel prior to his arrest on October 14, 2014 remain halachically valid and prior converts remain Jewish in all respects."


update Oct 21, 2014  Towson University - Towerlight

The University has indefinitely suspended Associate Professor Barry Freundel with pay, following his arrest outside his home in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 14. [...]

Freundel teaches classes in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. ... Senior mass communication major Nicole Coniglio said she toured Freundel’s synagogue last fall for a religious studies class she was taking. While there, Coniglio said she and other students on the tour were asked to shower in the mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel is accused of videotaping. Coniglio declined, but two of her classmates, who were Jewish but not Orthodox, accepted. [...]

In the past, Freundel has invited students to his synagogue for his classes. Any students or alumni who may have been impacted are encouraged to contact Towson University Police at 410-704-2134, who are assisting D.C. police in their investigation.
update Oct 21 2014 Washington Post    Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism is focus of other allegations

The case of a Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in the ritual bath expanded significantly Monday when a national rabbinical board said it had known since at least 2012 of complaints by women converts of inappropriate behavior.

The news triggered an outpouring by converts and advocates for women in Modern Orthodoxy who said the case reflected deeply embedded problems with sexism.

Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest last week shocked many in the small world of Modern Orthodoxy in part because he was viewed as an active supporter of women’s equality in areas such as synagogue leadership and education. In his 25 years as spiritual leader of Kesher Israel, he had elevated women to top positions at the small synagogue, whose members have long included prominent national leaders such as former senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Freundel was also one of the country’s best-known advocates for converts, and was known for going head-to-head with the powerful and strict Israeli rabbinate to try to get more U.S. conversions recognized.

But on Monday, the Rabbinical Council of America — the country’s main group for Modern Orthodox rabbis — said it had received reports going back at least two years that women working with Freundel toward becoming Jewish felt coerced into performing clerical work for him and donating money to a tribunal he led. There was also an allegation that he inappropriately acted as a co-signer on a checking account with one woman. [....]

update:Washington Jewish Week

According to a report by investigators with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) obtained by Washington Jewish Week, police were notified of the surreptitious recording device by an individual associated with the mikvah on Oct. 12, who also reported witnessing Freundel plugging in and operating the recording device secreted in a Dream Machine digital clock radio while she was setting up the mikvah’s showers. Freundel said that he was using it “for ventilation of the shower area.”

Police obtained a search warrant for the recording device on the very next day and reviewed numerous sets of recordings stored on the camera’s memory card.

The first three recordings on the camera’s memory card, timestamped June 2, capture three women separately “partially undressing” or changing clothes in view of the camera. The second occasion, timestamped Sept. 13, the camera recorded the face and voice of Freundel appearing to adjust the camera’s display time and “positioning it on the counter to face the shower stall area.” Six more recordings on the same day included four women “undressed or changing clothes” before entering the shower and drying off after.

A third set of videos dated Oct. 6, shows the rabbi again positioning the camera, followed by a video of when the camera was discovered. Because the camera was discovered on Oct. 12, at least on this day, the camera’s timestamp was behind by six days.

update: October 17 2014 Washington Post Rabbi accused of voyeurism pored over questions of sex and ethics

If Barry Freundel secretly violated sexual ethics, in public he pored over them.

Allegations that the Georgetown rabbi hid a camera in a ritual bathing area have astonished people from Washington to Israel, in part because Freundel had positioned himself as an ethical beacon. The internationally known Orthodox rabbi served as spiritual guide to the likes of former U.S. senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Supreme Court expert Linda Greenhouse and proffered wisdom on a wide range of moral matters.

Freundel’s writings, interviews and sermons, however, reveal that he appeared deeply worried about the dangerous overlap between sex and ethics, especially where it concerns technology.

Technology, he told a 1999 congressional bio­ethics panel, is “value-neutral. You can use it for good, you can use it for bad; the concern is how you use it. Every technology is a tool given to us by God to improve the world, if we use it the right way.” Same with knowledge, he said. Jews “style ourselves the ‘People of the Book’ because we think knowledge is valuable. But are you using it ethically?”

“The lack of sexual morality that pervades this society is all over the place, and the Orthodox community, no matter how traditional, is not immune from this,” he told Washington Jewish Week in a story last month about divorce among the Orthodox. “Pornography and its accessibility is wrecking marriages. It’s two keystrokes away. You get on the computer, you hit the button twice and you’re there.” [...] =========================
Washington Post   A prominent modern Orthodox rabbi at a Georgetown synagogue was arrested by D.C. police on Tuesday morning and charged with voyeurism, according to a department spokeswoman.

Barry Freundel, 62, of the Kesher Israel Congregation, was being held in police custody Tuesday and was likely to have an initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. Within hours, the synagogue’s board of directors suspended him without pay.[...]

Law enforcement authorities said the case involves a hidden camera but gave conflicting accounts of where the alleged voyeurism took place. Both the synagogue bathroom and the mikvah, where ritual bathing takes place, were mentioned.

Freundel is one of the region’s most respected rabbis. Kesher Israel is a modern Orthodox synagogue, part of a denomination that emphasizes Jewish law and tradition while trying to accommodate modern trends such as the rise of women in leadership.[...]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IDF Finally Admits: Hamas Planned Terror-Tunnel Massacre

Arutz 7   The IDF has confirmed rumors, circulating since last summer's war with Gaza terrorists, that Hamas was planning a massive attack on Israeli communities by hundreds of terrorists who would infiltrate into Israel via the vast network of "terror-tunnels" dug from Gaza into Israeli territory.

In an exclusive Vanity Fair report, IDF spokesperson Lt. Colonel Peter Lerner finally revealed that in destroying the tunnel Israel may have prevented a coordinated massacre of its civilians on an unprecedented scale.

"Hamas had a plan," he said. "A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel. They planned to send 200 terrorists armed to the teeth toward civilian populations. This was going to be a coordinated attack.

"The concept of operations involved 14 offensive tunnels into Israel. With at least 10 men in each tunnel, they would infiltrate and inflict mass casualties."

An unnamed senior military intelligence figure elaborated further on how the attack was meant to pan-out: "First, get in and massacre people in a village. Pull off something they could show on television. Second, the ability to kidnap soldiers and civilians using the tunnels would give them a great bargaining chip." [...]

Joey (Deutsch) Diangello - courageous advocate against child abuse and rape survivor - buried in Monsey

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz - A message to Family Members/Love ones of Abuse survivors

Over the joyous Yom Tov of Succos, a 34-year-old man named Joey DiAngello tragically died. His Levaya (funeral) was in Monsey this past Sunday. He was a passionate advocate for abuse prevention and victim's rights, having been molested in a Brooklyn Mikva when he was an innocent seven-year-old child named Yoeli Deutch.

After Joey/Yoeli's burial, a dozen friends of his gathered to share their memories of his all-too-short life. One of the people who spoke was a middle-aged, chassidic man. He softly stated that his son had been abused many years ago and said, "I am terrified that I might be here one day burying my own son."

He said that his family is following the advice they received from Rabbonim and professionals who are knowledgeable in these matters [to give their son "space" and the love/support he needs] even though, "it is very, very difficult for us to do that."

My message to parents, siblings, and loved ones of abuse victims is that you please, please listen to the wise words of that father and support the survivors in every way possible. And to all members of our community, always keep in mind that you never really know what pain and suffering people are contending with.

We are burying far too many of our kids who couldn't deal with the pain and confusion of the childhood abuse that shattered their innocent lives - and for many of them, the support they get from you could be the difference between their life and death.[...]

*MONSEY, N.Y. (PIX11) –* The marker on the freshly-dug grave in the Monsey Cemetery had the name “Joel Deutsch” in Hebrew, the name 34-year old Joe Diangello was given at birth in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Diangello had walked away from the Satmar Hasidic community — and his name — at age 17, ten years after suffering what he said was a brutal sexual assault in a mikvah bath on Marcy Avenue.

“I think when that person raped me, he murdered my Jewish soul,” Diangello told PIX11 Investigates in early 2009, when he finally started going public with his story.

Diangello was buried Sunday by members of the Hasidic community, not long after he was discovered dead in his Manhattan apartment by a social worker.

His close friends who became his true support system in recent years, after Diangello’s family rejected his new lifestyle, said he would not have wanted a Monsey funeral.

Diangello certainly stood out in a crowd, with his dyed, jet-black hair, black fingernails, and heavy metal t-shirts.

The cause of death was listed as a drug overdose, but many friends insisted to PIX11 it must have been accidental, since Diangello had been taking a more positive outlook on life.

He was running marathons, working as a medical biller from his apartment, and enjoying Yankee games.

Still, his life was one filled with pain. [...]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Should sexual abuse be accepted as an inherent part of football - Sayreville Scandal

NY Times    SAYREVILLE, N.J. — The freshmen were easy prey in the locker room. They slinked away when the older varsity boys barreled in, blasting their music, shooting each other with Nerf guns and stripping down with the kind of confidence that freshmen could only fake. Intimidated by the older boys, most played invisible. But on the day of the second game of the season, Sept. 19, the freshmen became targets in a pastime very different from football.

“Hootie hoo,” the older players yelled before their home game that night, flicking the lights on and off and on again. Then they tripped a freshman in a T-shirt and football pants, letting loud music muffle any noise the boy made as he fell. Two pinned the younger boy’s arms, while others punched and kicked him — not viciously, but hard enough to matter, two witnesses said. He curled into the fetal position and was groped by his attackers.

What happened during that episode and in three other locker room attacks in subsequent days at Sayreville War Memorial High School prompted the arrest of seven varsity players on hazing and sexual abuse allegations, the cancellation of the football season and another round of introspection about the sport and its recent spate of scandals. [...]

The freshmen may now be minimizing any abuse because of the scorn that has been directed their way. Prosecutors here face a challenge: building a case not on physical evidence, but on the testimony of teenagers who live in a world of often cruel peers, a place where threats of drop-kicking and jumping someone are as common as texting “LOL.” [...]

Some players said they thought that the attacks were just part of being on the team, a way for the varsity players to show that the chosen freshmen belonged to the Bombers family. They said the popular freshmen were targeted, not the weak ones. Yet others were scared of the older boys.

“They think they’re joking around, but I don’t think it was a joke,” a witness to the first attack said. “I said, ‘This is nasty.’ ” [...]

The "scientific" claim that Jack the Ripper was definitely Jewish - is false

It was recently reported that a scientist had proven through DNA that Jack the Ripper was Jewish. It is now being reported that the claim is false because it is based on an elementary but devasting error which renders the evaluations totally worthless.

The scientist who carried out the DNA analysis that identified Victorian-era serial killer "Jack the Ripper" as a Jewish barber named Aaron Kosminski has apparently made a fundamental error that fatally undermines his case, according to several top experts.

Scientist Jari Louhelainen is said to have put a decimal point in the wrong place when using a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) database to calculate the chances of a genetic match between DNA left on a shawl that allegedly belonged to one of Ripper's victims, Catherine Eddowes, and was supposedly discovered near her body, and DNA taken from descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski.

The apparent error, first noticed by amateur criminologists in Australia blogging on the website, “has been highlighted by four experts with intimate knowledge of DNA analysis – including Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of genetic fingerprinting,” according to The Independent.

Professor Walther Parson of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Innsbruck has reportedly “echoed” Professor Jeffreys' concerns, as have Mannis van Oven, professor of forensic molecular biology at Rotterdam's Erasmus University, and Hansi Weissensteiner, also at Innsbruck and one of the scientists behind the computer algorithm used by Dr Louhelainen to search the mtDNA database.

Louhelainen used the database at the Institute of Legal Medicine to match a DNA fragment from the shawl with Karen Miller, the three-times great-granddaughter of Eddowes. Another DNA fragment was matched to a descendant of Kosminski's sister who asked not to be identified.

The error seems to have been made in the calculations linking Eddowes and Miller. If the critics are right, Louhelainen's calculations were wrong and virtually anyone could have left the DNA that he insisted came from Eddowes. This means that Eddowes cannot be connected to the shawl, and that therefore, no DNA connection can be made between Kosminski and Eddowes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rav Schochet - prominent Chabad rabbi - bans Telushkin Book For Heresy Content

Chabad Info October 17, 2014

In a scathing letter written by the Av Beis Din of Toronto, Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet, he categorizes the Telushkin book as heresy, and demands that the Rabbi who permitted it recant his permission 


In a letter written a few weeks ago, Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet, Av Beis Din of Toronto, asks Rabbi YY Shusterman, Rov in Beverly Hills California, if he permitted the reading and disseminating of the Telushkin book.
After a response was not forthcoming, he chose to publish the letter:
I have heard a rumor, that you have supposedly approved the book of Telushkin, and additionally, you have ruled, in your capacity as a Rov More Hora’ah for Chabad, that Shluchim should encourage the distribution of the book.
I am sure you are aware of the Rebbe’s opinion prohibiting the use of books which were written by unscrupulous individuals, even when there is no inherent problem with the content of the book. And the Rebbe held the same regarding books which only referenced such publications.
Also, you are surely aware of the Rebbe’s extensive correspondence regarding the Conservative movement, it’s “Rabbis” and leaders – that the Halacha is they are considered heretics.
You are surely aware of the famous ruling by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, that a Conservative “Rabbi” is not trusted for testimony in Jewish court just by the mere fact that he is affiliated with said movement, and he doesn’t need any prior warning before being disqualified…
Regarding the author, Telushkin – there is no need to do any research, for it is clearly known to anyone who searches the internet that he serves as a “Rabbi” in a Conservative temple, where a woman serves as a “Chazanit” and his assistant “Rabbi” is from the Reform movement,
Although this would have been enough for someone who is a G-d fearing Jew, and even more so for a Chossid of the Rebbe, and even more so for one who presents himself as a Rov who rules according to the directives of the Rebbe – to completely prohibit the above book.
More so, in this case (without even discussing the issue of the author), when many people who are considered G-d fearing Jews, and known around the world as smart people who are busy with spiritual issues (I am not talking about those “leaders” who are well-versed in politics, PR and monetary issues) – have said that the book has some terrible ideas which constitute a Chilul Hashem, so much so that anyone who has any inkling of a connection to the Rebbe, and more so if he has an iota of Hiskashrus, would immediately denounce this book.
I therefore turn to you and ask you, in the name of Anash and their descendants which are here and those that will come, that you please tell me that this rumor is a lie, and there is no inkling of truth in this matter.
If G-d forbid there is some truth to this rumor, I demand you tell me what the reasoning behind your ruling is, and if you made your decision independently or after consulting with other Lubavitcher Rabbonim and Mashpiim, and tell me their names and reasons.
With a blessing for a Ksiva V’chasima Tova,
Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet

New book reveals that Eichman was truly evil - not banal

update Oct 14, 2014  of the controversy from Jewish Review of Books

"Richard Wolin’s review of Bettina Stangneth’s newly translated book about Adolf Eichmann caused a stir, mainly about Hannah Arendt and the banality (or not) of evil. Yale Professor Seyla Benhabib responded in a New York Times piece, others blogged, and Wolin responded in an essay on our website. Now Professor Benhabib has rejoined the debate and Professor Wolin has replied a final time. Here's a guide to the exchange from the original review to its last installment."
NY Times  [See also Jewish Review of Books]  Ever since his capture in the early 1960s, Otto Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of Jewish affairs during the Third Reich, has been the subject of unsettled and passionate controversy — centered, above all, on Hannah Arendt’s portrait of him at his 1961 trial. Her “Eichmann in Jerusalem” in many ways mirrored Eichmann’s own self-presentation. She insisted that, contrary to expectations, the man in the dock was not some kind of demonic Nazi sadist but a thoughtless, relatively anonymous, nonideological bureaucrat dutifully executing orders for the emigration, deportation and murder of European Jewry. Arendt’s insights — that genocide and bureaucratic banality are not necessarily opposed, that fanatical anti-Semitism (or for that matter, any ideological predisposition) is not a sufficient precondition for mass murder — remain pertinent.

Yet as Bettina Stangneth demonstrates in “Eichmann Before Jerusalem,” her critical — albeit respectful — dialogue with Arendt, these insights most certainly do not apply to Eichmann himself. Throughout his post-1945 exile he remained a passionate, ideologically convinced National Socialist. He proudly signed photos with the title ­“Adolf Eichmann — SS-­Obersturmbannführer (retired)” and, quite unlike a plodding functionary, boasted of his “creative” work. At one point he described the mass deportation of more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews as his innovative masterpiece: “It was actually an achievement that was never matched before or since.”

The enduring image of Eichmann as faceless and order-obeying, Stangneth argues, is the result of his uncanny ability to tailor his narrative to the desires and fantasies of his listeners. Arendt was not the only one to be taken in, and Stangneth, an independent philosopher living in Hamburg, is able to present a more rounded picture on the basis of previously unmined archival sources, particularly Eichmann’s own compulsive notes and jottings made in exile, in conjunction with the elusive series of taped conversations known as the Sassen interviews. These were exchanges organized in Argentina by the Dutch Nazi journalist Wilhelm Sassen and attended by a small group of old Nazis and their sympathizers. [...]

It is in these interviews and Eichmann’s own notes that he gave uninhibited vent to his version of the Holocaust and his involvement. Since he had a penchant for tailoring his endless chatting and voluminous writings to what he believed his audience desired, it may not be immediately evident why his statements in Buenos Aires should be considered more authentic than the “little man” portrait he painted in Jerusalem. The answer lies in the stance he took against what his Nazi and radical-right audience wanted to hear. For they were intent on either denying the Holocaust altogether, or outlandishly regarding it as either a Zionist plot to obtain a Jewish state or a conspiracy of the Gestapo (not the SS) working against Hitler and without his knowledge. Eichmann dashed these expectations. Not only did he affirm that the horrific events had indeed taken place; he attested to his decisive role in them. Hardly anonymous, he insisted on his reputation as the great mover behind Jewish policy, which became part of the fear, the mystique of power, surrounding him. As Stangneth observes: “He dispatched, decreed, allowed, took steps, issued orders and gave audiences.”

Like many Nazi mass murderers, he possessed a puritanical petit-bourgeois sense of family and social propriety, indignantly denying that he indulged in extramarital relations or that he profited personally from his duties, and yet he lived quite comfortably with the mass killing of Jews. This was so, Stangneth argues, because Eichmann was far from a thoughtless functionary simply performing his duty. He proceeded quite intentionally from a set of tenaciously held Nazi beliefs (hardly consonant with Arendt’s puzzling contention that he “never realized what he was doing”). His was a consciously wrought racial “ethics,” one that pitted as an ultimate value the survival of one’s own blood against that of one’s enemies. He defined “sacred law” as what “benefits my people.” Morality was thus not universal or, as Eichmann put it, “international.” How could it be, given that the Jewish enemy was an international one, propounding precisely those universal values? [...]

Former student confronts her alleged abuser – a trusted gym teacher and coach