64 thoughts on “Sadly, we now have this”

  1. I would like to see Rabbi Telsner, Rabbi Beck, Bais Din etc, step up and unequivically say what the din is, and whether or not the police SHOULD/MUST be contacted, and whether giving them tickets overseas to reoffend, as in this case, is a good idea.

    Only 15 years too late. Why were the families of his students never contacted and the boys not councelled?

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    1. In context, the issue you allude to had nothing to do with R’ Telsner or R’ Beck. That being said, there is a statement from the RCV, of which R’ Telsner is a member, which suggests that they should be contacted. Be under no illusion, however, there are a number of cases being considered from what I have heard. I don’t expect any statements from R’ Beck in any event. Perhaps the salient question should be asked of the real Posek for Adass these days, as opposed to R’ Beck, who it would seem is now merely a figurehead. It would also be a very good idea if R’ Wurzberger of the Lakewood Kollel was asked for his unequivocal Psak on the general issue. Is anyone close enough to these two willing to ask them and report back? I don’t have anything to do with either of them. The important issue is now and the future. The message needs to get across to offenders and those who protect them: it cannot be.

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  2. “would like to see Rabbi Telsner, Rabbi Beck, Bais Din etc, step up and unequivically say what the din is”.

    i allways knew that you have a Sense of humor, but i never knew how hor funny you are

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  3. This begs may questions. Why are the police investigating this now? What occurred to precipitate this after all these years? Is this being doe by the police independently or are there certain Jewish individuals or groups behind this? If so, which ones? Will this ope up old wounds? These victims are now adults–how will this affect them?

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    1. Look, I don’t think there is much value in asking why now, who, what where. The issue is to have a growing awareness and education that this type of thing, in the future, will not be tolerated. It won’t be tolerated by a community or the authorities. Let’s pray that past victims don’t suffer too much and have strength in coping, and that there are no more victims. The police will do their work whichever way.

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  4. NO, I think who, what, how, are extremely important questions to ask right now. No one want to speak. Some people in Yeshiva may be facing criminal prosecution. We need to know who, if anyone, in the system cares enough about this issue to do the right thing ad come forward. Otherwise, can we trust NO ONE????

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    1. The most important issues are any victims and the police investigation. The blog and it’s posts are of no relevance except to encourage any victims to come forward. Remember. We need to deal with perpetrators. The rest will come out in the wash. People are a lot wiser now because of the publicity available through web awareness and education.

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  5. There may very well be some Yeshiva College staff that are in breach of the mandatory reporting laws. This could be VERY SERIOUS SITUATION!! I never understood why parents refrained from going to the police. They get intimidated ad bullied by Rabbis. If G-d forbid it were my kid I would be at the police station faster than you could say CHILD ABUSE. I cannot understand parents who won’t even stand up for their own children. Their need for social acceptance is stronger than their parental instinct? Incomprehesible to this Jewish mother.

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    1. It’s not helpful to be judgmental nor is it helpful to accuse. Please focus on the future. If perpetrators are dealt with by the authorities that is THE important step. Ten people will react in ten ways and yours is simply not the only understandable reaction

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    2. Shoshana me thinks you rush to conclusions and judgements far too soon;
      have you stopped to think that children would be even more traumatised if they had to speak to Police and Police doctors and possibly Courts etc ?

      what about the press – thankfully you have little or no idea of the impact of such scenarios

      I have a little by way of my job and training in the law…and it is by no means easy and usually not in any way a healing process for the child victim – maybe for the parent and community..

      slow down and consider all angles – and please, stop the judging and condemning

      its not Chassidish

      Kol tuv PH

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      1. As you say, you have a “little”. Have you spoken to any victims in the cases at hand? There are scores around. You know quite a few of them. They ARE worried about their KIDS’ shidduchim if things come out, but hand-in-hand, recognise the good it will do they themselves, and they think about protecting others. Someone that’s been at it for 20+ years, isn’t looking at stopping voluntarily.

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  6. typos corrected
    Isaac, I prefer to be judgmental when it comes to protecting innocent kids. To my mind there are no excuses. Parents, teachers, Rabbis are all responsible and if they look away or refuse to prosecute then they are enablers to the child abuse.

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  7. To understand why this plague has to be dealt with, some of the victims of the 1989-1993 era have kids now starting in Yeshiva College. The illness is inter-generational, cyclical. It must be stopped dead i its tracks. Ad the only way to prevent it happening in the future is to address what happened in the past ad to learn from it.

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    1. I’m not sure it’s a plague, but the issue needs to be addressed, and do not think for one minute that it’s localised to Hotham Street. There are non charedi schools that have had issues as well. Perpetrators will always exist. The most important thing is to educate children to be aware and encourage schools and shules to have new refreshed policies in place. Read some stuff from Rabbi Horowitz.

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  8. Isaac, they are so behind here. Morristown yeshiva i the ’90’s. A BT was caught molesting the boys. Rabbi Herso had no qualms about sending him directly to jail (he didn’t get to pass GO). And Rabbi Herson then called out a shrink who taught the ENTIRE community how to tell if a child may be getting abused so we could all be aware enough to stop it. Rabbi Herson is a role model on how to deal with this. And I am certain he knows the halachas of mesira too.

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    1. If he was molesting the students he wasn’t much of a ba’al teshuva. But I’m surprised you thought it appropriate to describe him this way; do you have any reason to think it was relevant to his acts or to their consequences?

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  9. B’H
    To be honest this is a very sensitive issue and because of the stigma that surrounds the victim and often the victim feels he or she is somehow to blame for the abuse and this feeling is encouraged by the perpetrators of especially child abuse, because that allows him or her (yes there are female predators just as there are men) to somehow be absolved of wrongdoing because they are able to shift the blame onto the victim. The victim is an innocent child – confused and trusting, because his or her trust has been so horribly betrayed by an adult who is supposed to care for him or her. Think about it. In the mind of the victims they often are left with the life long feeling that ‘I am somehow to blame for what happened, because I caused it to happen somehow but actions of mine’. The perpetrator knows this and in all cases takes advantage of it and this ‘blame the victim’ attitude is fostered in the legal system, because it is easier to blame the victims than to take responsibility for the flaws of the perpetrator and somehow hold them responsible.
    We have to shift the responsibility to the perpetrators and this is a very difficult thing to achieve. They are often very, very manipulative and have groomed the victims all too well as they do understand the social and psychological issues and know full well the social stigmas that surround abuse victims, especially in the religious communities and in effect, the victim’s family and friends are further victimized, especially when we are meeting issues such as shiduchim and marriage etc.
    This is not a very straight forward issue and I am sure that many Rabbonim also consider the impact of outing the fact of their abuse on a victim and try to protect the victims as much as possible.

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  10. B’H

    I also forgot to say that an important issue to insist on is that the perpetrators have to admit that they have a problem and then get treatment. Before the treatment though, they must acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong and not normal, but because they have spent so long in justifying their actions and shifting blame to the victims, you will see that it is very hard to get these individuals to acknowledge that what they have done is wrong. They have often deluded themselves in thinking they are alright and that is is everyone else that has the problem. I once read an article by someone in Europe who was insisting ‘that children have a right to their sexuality’. Now we all know that children have a right to an innocent childhood and one free of sexual predators. You will find that many predators do not see themselves as sick.
    To get them to acknowledge that they are abusers and wrong, is very difficult but it is the first step towards receiving treatment and to stop the cycle of abuse.

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  11. It is all hot air. If the great majority of parents and children are not prepared to come forward to testify so that they are not stigmitised for shidduchim, then nothing will be done, or more correctly can be done.

    Look at previous posts on other threads here. Posters warning of scandals to be uncovered. It’s all talk. It rarely happens, because no one wants the chance of shidduchim problems. If leifer had not been sent away, her case would probably not even made it to court due to lack of evidence..

    SS, it’s easy to talk, but when one is actually faced with potential shidduchim issues, then no one can judge them. The criticisers would probably do the same if they were in that position ch”v.

    Due to all this, there are places in Israel and NY where these monsters are quietly taken care of..

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  12. I agree with Isaac’s general thrust. The important things are stopping the perps from further activities, and helping the victims. SS is in general wrong in that for many victims, seeing justice done, even, or especially, after all these years helps them along the road to recovery. Many are actually relieved when they talk to the police and are believed. They feel vindicated. All readers of this blog should encourage anyone they know who has any information, however trivial, as a friend, parent, teacher or victim, to go straight to the police. Anyone who has something to say, and does not say it now, when the opportunity is offered on a platter, is just as guilty as those who allowed or pushed perps in the past to go overseas, or allowed them to continue their nefarious activities in Yeshivah knowing what they had done (yes, the latter happened in at least one well-known case, the former in several), and those offenders then went on to abuse probably hundreds of others. Yesh din v’yesh dayan, and I certainly don’t mean the dayan in the Yeshivah. Oh, and please, no bleeding hearts for the perps (yes, I’ve already been hearing that).

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  13. One further point: if anyone still has doubts about the Jewish legal view on cooperating fully with the police in such cases, ask a competent Rabbi, but make completely sure, if the answer is not an unequivocal yes, that there is no connection between the Rabbi and anyone who covered things up in the past. I do not mean to slight any Rabbis, but I hear that cover-up and denial is in fact the preferred course of action of many in positions of power today after the police letter came out, unchanged from 20 years ago.

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  14. Please do not put words in my mouth. Where did I say anything implying the victims would not benefit from seeking justice? I ever said any such thing. I wholeheartedly feel the victims,no matter how many years later, will heal further once they see justice done.

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  15. typos my N key is stuck
    It makes no sense to worry about shidduchim. Firstly, shidduchim come from Hashem. Secondly, is the young person’s mental health not an intrinsic part of their happiness in marriage? Bringing the abuser to justice helps the victim heal hence, they are much better prepared psychologically to be a functional marriage partner. By not allowing that healing process to take place parents are essentially marrying off their victimised children and putting them at much greater risk for unhappiness, divorce, and future mental breakdowns as well as making the risk of them in turn abusing the next generation much higher., That is why this is a plague, especially in our frum communities because we keep letting the abusers go off to another town and do it again and again….

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  16. “have you stopped to think that children would be even more traumatised if they had to speak to Police and Police doctors and possibly Courts etc ?

    what about the press – thankfully you have little or no idea of the impact of such scenarios”

    Pinchos, Are you recommending the victims should stay quiet not to upset themselves and not expose the way this has been handled in Yeshivah? Australia, unlike Square, is a free country and the victims can make up their own mind if they want to talk to the police or not. Victims can go to court and not be identified, the perp would know who they are, but their names would not be reported.

    Unfortunately most people’s thinking is so warped, that ultimately, the result of our inaction is that we allow them to re-offend. Wouldn’t you agree that the police should be immediately called in, and then it’s up to the victims and their families to decide whether to give a statement. Then the mosad has done all it can.

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  17. Shoshana Silcove, maybe it makes no sense to you to worry about shidduchim. I am saying it is a fact that almost all people will do everything possible to keep under the covers anything whatsoever that would stigmatise their child for a shidduch. There is nothing that can be done to fix it.

    You’re saying what should be in a perfect world. What I am saying is fact. The real world.
    .
    Yes, their mental health etc. is very important. However, parents hope that will go away. It is also not so great for a child’s mental health when shidduch after shidduch is rejected because they have been stigmatised. The parents of molested children in the orthodox community are between a rock and a hard place and there is no doubt which way they will choose to go.

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      1. There are two Detective’s names and phone numbers above. They do this everyday and probably for many many years. Give them a call and see what they say.

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  18. Pinchas, I find your views stated here to be excuses and justifications for burying heads in the sand. Your comment verges on a personal attack. Just because I have a differing view to yours does not mean I am condemning or judging.

    Ben, the real world? In real world is all about being mentally healthy enough to cope in marriage and family life. Sticking heads in sand will result more misery.

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    1. Dovid, you know very well that this Tshuva is a “curious” one. People can read the comments in Dovid’s link to see that it is not considered a Daas Torah. We are no longer in the evil empire and we now understand the proclivities of offenders much better than that. Furthermore, the offender often simply can’t help themselves. I suggest forgetting this Tshuva. It is not the way people think today. Period.

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  19. Rav Menashe Klein writes: “If we can stop him(e.g. the molester) by damaging one of his limbs, then he should be stopped that way”

    Yes, that’s the best (and probably the only)way to deal with it. Nothing else helps most of the time.

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  20. Spot on, Ben. But just remember: “Physical castration…remains a highly controversial and irreversible procedure. However, reported recidivism rates are strikingly better than those for chemical castration.” (Journal of Offender Rehabilitation,Volume 25 Number 3/4)

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  21. I am not exactly sure which limb. Something that does the job. However, other punishments e.g. jail don’t work at all(except for the time they are locked up). There’s no cure. It’s similar to my attraction to (adult)females. Prison would only increase it 🙂

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  22. The assumption that such people have the status of rodfim is exteremely suspect. People make such claims without any basis in halacha. You cannot extrapolate from one psak in a specific situation to anyone whom the police would call a “child molester”. It is absolutely not the case that all such people are rodfim, and without specific and detailed evidence one may not make such an assumption. One who makes a blanket statement that all such people have the din of rodfim is a shofech domim bemeizid, and Hashem will never forgive him.

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    1. The mere fact that you poo poo the police through your inverted commas disqualifies your opinion. We aren’t talking about the odd case of an unhappy divorce where one partner tries to frame the other. The statistics show otherwise. Suggest you read up about those statistics and come out of the walled city. Halacha mandates we protect society. Furthermore such concerns are paramount. Time and time again we see how wrong and misguided those who think they know or can find out have been.

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      1. Fred didn’t say anything about an unhappy divorce. He pointed out the unquestionable fact that the criteria by which the police call someone a “child molester” are not at all congruent with the halacha. It may be that in an odd case such a person also has a din of rodef, but in the overwhelming majority of cases he does not, and Fred is entirely right to say that anyone who applies the blanket term of rodef to such people, and authorises mesirah against them, is shofech domim bemezid, and megaleh ponim batorah shelo kehalacha. If someone cites the mishneh in Sanhedrin 73a, they need to look at R Dosa’s statement in Gittin 81a instead. The case in Gittin is far more common than the one in Sanhedrin, and טעה בדבר משנה is not a psak.

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        1. Oh really? Perhaps you can enlighten us with the Psak of the Tzemach Tzedek about a Rav who had been accused of such things, and how the Tzemach Tzedek paskened and dealt with it. Which method do you prefer, that of the Tzemach Tzedek or that of a police investigation? Also do tell us about how the police and the law go beyond the halacha. Of course, you will recall that Beis Din has the power to put someone in prison if they have suspicion that they may be damaging the physical or otherwise fabric of society. As to Sanhedrin, you might wish to see the Psak from Crown Heights which in fact starts with Sanhedrin as its base. Are you alleging that they are טועים בדבר משנה?

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