4/11/09

Jewish Week: Which of the Four Sons is Ezra Merkin?

It's been an unfortunate few months for many of our colleagues, friends and relatives because of the losses they suffered in the scandals engendered by the massive frauds and criminal misrepresentations of Bernard Madoff and his enabler J. Ezra Merkin.

The Jewish Week editors cap off their weak coverage of the entire episode with a smart-alecky editorial asking which of the Haggadah's four sons is Ezra Merkin, which of the Haggadah's four sons are the investors, yadda, yadda.

The Merkin story is one of the biggest philanthropic and financial disasters ever to hit New York's Jews. Yet this is a rambling piece written from the desk, no additional work was done to research the essay. Too bad. Here's the editorial's ending, with the editors' sorely lame homily tagged on.
But we have yet to hear an apology or explanation from Merkin himself, who has portrayed himself as a victim rather than an enabler of Madoff.

This is but the latest chapter in what is sure to be a long story of legal battles for Merkin, who to date is being sued by New York University and businessman Mort Zuckerman. The fact that it comes on the eve of Passover is another reminder of the holiday’s timely theme of avoiding material excess, symbolized by chometz. (What are we to make of the fact that we refer to money as “bread” and “dough”?)
For eight days, we sacrifice some of our comforts for the price of freedom. It’s a bargain if we take that gift, and the message of the holiday, to heart.

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