A reader sent an irate response to point 4 below, suggesting that, in essence, it is ridiculous to suggest on the basis of two cases, Silver and Rapfogel, that there might be anything about Modern Orthodox Judaism worth scrutinizing. Maybe the reader is correct.
But this, too, is a decade in which we've seen the rabbi of the Orthodox synagogue in Georgetown arrested for allegedly peeping via video camera in the mikvah, the chairman of the investment committee of Yeshiva University, Bernard Madoff, arrested for a giant Ponzi scheme, the respected leader of a Jewish charity arrested for stealing money from the poor, and now the speaker of the New York State Assembly arrested for corruption. Again, maybe these four cases are entirely unrelated and should not be a spur to self-examination. But given that I often hear Jewish conservatives, including Orthodox ones, casting aspersions on inner-city blacks for their culture of lawlessness, maybe, too, some self-examination is in order for a community with members that won't drink wine or cheese that hasn't been certified kosher and won't go out of the house bareheaded, but seems in these cases to take a much looser approach when it comes to obeying laws that govern relations between people.
Perhaps the fear is that talking about this might feed false stereotypes about crooked Jews. But it seems to me that there is also a real risk that inattention to ethical behavior, coupled with the appearance of scrupulous behavior when it comes to religious matters, will mar the reputation of a community whose tradition actually has much to offer.