Whoopi Goldberg’s Suspension and the Jewish Concepts of Nezifah, Niddui and Herem

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Whoopi_Goldberg_by_David_Shankbone_(3026904000).jpgDavid Shankbone from USA, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons On Monday, Whoopi Goldberg, one of the hosts of ABC’s “The View,” was suspended for two weeks after insisting that the Holocaust was not about race. Prior to the announcement of her suspension by Karen Godwin, President of ABC News, Goldberg apologized online Monday night and on “The View” Tuesday morning. Given this, many are upset at ABC’s actions. Suspending her for two weeks, many feel, seems to be a bit excessive. This being said, temporary “banishment” after a serious transgression is prescribed by Jewish tradition. The Talmud details twenty-four offenses that could lead one to being suspended from the community. The great medieval Jewish scholar, Maimonides lists these twenty-four offenses, one being to act in a way that encourages others who don’t know better to sin. By doing this, or committing one of the other twenty-three offenses, one could face nezifah,…