Seven siblings in an Orthodox Jewish family died in an overnight fire Saturday in Brooklyn that authorities said was caused by a hot plate left on because of prohibitions against cooking and operating electrical appliances during the Sabbath....It's awful, but I notice I don't hear our right-wing friends triumphantly proclaiming that the family got what they deserved because of their religious practices.
Fire officials said a preliminary investigation found that a pot that had been left on a hot plate overnight had overheated, setting off the blaze. Orthodox customs prohibit turning electrical appliances on or off, or lighting flames, during the Sabbath.
Imagine if a family of Muslims in America suffered a similar fire because observing proper fire safety conflicted with their interpretation of Islam. You'd be able to hear the howls of outrage from Pam Geller and other Islamophobes from hundreds of miles away. But when this happens? Crickets. (Even though fires of this kind happen fairly often.)
I don't love the practice, though I understand its importance to Orthodox Jews. The risk was compounded in this case:
On Saturday, investigators found a smoke detector in the basement of the home at 3371 Bedford Avenue, near Avenue L, but had not found any on the first floor, where the fire started, or the second, where the family slept. They were still searching the debris.Whatever you think about this practice, you won't hear a word of complaint about it from conservatives. Orthodox Jews' determination to sustain the practice won't be denounced. They're not Muslims, you see, so it's different, because, well, it just is.