Two months before Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a child with his housekeeper, I spent a week e-mailing rabbis about adultery. My question to them was this: Would they agree to a public dialogue with the creator of an online matchmaking service for people seeking extramarital affairs? One after another, they said no.
The number of public men destroyed of late through sexual scandals is simply staggering. Within 48 hours of each other we heard that IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who many believed would be the next President of France, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, until a few weeks ago the Governor of the most populous state in the Union, self-destructed with sex scandals.
Breaking the commandment against adultery shouldn't disqualify you for public office. Still, I don't think the adulterer should expect cheers from the Jewish community. This is especially true when the official is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has made his family and his life story a big part of his persona.
It was Ted Koppel who broke the news to all the world that our president does not consider oral sex to constitute adultery. That being the case, Koppel concluded, it was perfectly correct for Clinton to maintain to probing journalists that he had never had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The president reportedly had once told Arkansas state troopers that oral sex is not, according to the Bible, adultery.