Today’s New York Times had an article about William Rapfogel, Director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Rapfogel, a prominent Jewish philanthropist and fundraiser, pleaded guilty to stealing more than a million dollars from this charity, along with a minyan of crooked Jews who looted this social service organization. Rapfogel is photographed prominently wearing a knitted back yarmulke, and in the words of the Times, “thumbing through a well worn Torah”. If Mr Rapfogel had actually taken a break from thievery to read the Torah, he would have learned that it states in this week’s portion that one is forbidden to “place a stumbling block in front of the blind” which is interpreted to mean among other things, that it is forbidden to commit fraud and deceive others. I am reminded of the equally vile Jack Abramoff, who deliberately wore a modern Orthodox costume in court for his sentencing. Mr Rapfogel is going to prison, and will pay for his crimes, and I feel for his family who have been abandoned by their former patrons. However, enough with the yarmulkes. In the late middle ages, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman spoke of the “naval bereshut HaTorah“-the seemingly observant Jew who is actually a scoundrel and crook. Thanks Willie and Jack, for sadly reminding us that things have not changed.