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The Veil of Deception: George Santos

I ask myself, how is it that someone so disordered has successfully deceived so many and finds himself in a position of power to determine the future of many of us?
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January 26, 2023
Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images

I often find that two opposite emotional states motivate me to write. One is being in the expansive, most positive of places, sharing not only to enlighten but to help enhance another. The other is from a darker place, one of frustration, demoralization or just plain anger. 

Over these last few weeks, I’ve been residing in the latter. The figure of George Santos has taken hold of me, and I find myself incredulous that someone with his personality and character exists. So many of us, who have worked hard to create a place for ourselves in society, to do the good work we are meant to do and hopefully build a reputation of honesty and integrity, find it hard to resolve the idea that one can cheat, deceive or manipulate their way through life to such an extent that they leave a trail of battered souls. None of us is perfect; we make mistakes and even have our shadow side revealed at times. But with some inner examination, awareness and redirection, we rise to a higher level by continuing the good work to make the world a better place. 

But I ask myself, how is it that someone so disordered has successfully deceived so many and finds himself in a position of power to determine the future of many of us? The list of this man’s deceptions keeps growing as we learn of past indiscretions from those who have engaged with him over the years. Of course, the most heartbreaking accusation is stealing money from a homeless veteran whose dog was dying. How low do you have to go to use someone so deprived and suffering to enhance your petty schemes and bank account? Shouldn’t the ACLU offer legal services to sue Mr. Santos and retrieve the money this vet so rightly deserves? 

Theft by deception can be considered a misdemeanor or even a felony with punishment in jail or at least a monetary fine. 

We certainly know why the Republicans want to keep his vote, but to ignore his unlawful and horrific behavior is beyond acceptable. It is reprehensible. After having a president who lied reportedly thousands of times, it is no surprise that there are others who will repeat such behavior and know they can get away with it. 

In studying Torah, we find the personality of Jacob, whose Hebrew name is Ya-akov, spelled “yudekev,” two parts, each reflecting a different character. Ekev means a heel, the bottom, the lowest part of our physical being, while the yud represents G-d, G-d’s name and character, which is above, the highest of intentions. There are some who even call Jacob a trickster because of his manipulative behavior and robbing his brother of the blessing to which he was entitled. Jacob, however, faced his shadow side. He struggled and overcame his past and recreated a new future, being gifted with a new name. This reflected his new self, Yisrael, willing to struggle with the dark side and bring new light into his life. It is a lesson that we can all change; we can enhance our lives by revaluating our journey and shifting when we go astray. George Santos, or whatever his real name is, is a heel, the lowest of human beings with the ugliest of intentions — cheating the poor, deceiving Jews by using the Holocaust as a veil of deception and stealing from those who were close to him. His lack of self-awareness and ability to even apologize for some of his transgressions reflects how limited a man he is. What are we teaching our children when we permit such a deranged human being to serve in our government?

One can only hope that such a charlatan, and those who put a wall around him, will eventually face judgment day, if not in this world then hopefully in the next. 

The frustration with those who permit and share in such deceit and dishonor is overwhelming at times. We know that those who do nothing are as responsible as those who are perpetrators. One can only hope that such a charlatan, and those who put a wall around him, will eventually face judgment day, if not in this world then hopefully in the next.


Eva Robbins is a rabbi, cantor, artist and the author of “Spiritual Surgery: A Journey of Healing Mind, Body and Spirit.”

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