50 years after: a monk is forced to apologise for rape in Japan

This is a very crude translation adapted from the google translation from Yediot in Hebrew [hat tip RDS]

You can make out what happened. Terrible, horrible, are the only words I can utter.

When he was 11, the son of a diplomat, was attacked in a chapel where he studied, in Japan. Fifty years he remained silent – until recently. A Monk hit him, and he was appointed principal of the school in the meantime – the Monk apologized in the synagogue of the Jewish community in Tokyo, in the presence of multi-community. “There is a global awakening on the subject strikes children in religious educational institutions,” says Dr. Yitzhak Kadman

The story of a Jewish boy of fifty years ago, was recently uncovered by the Times, “the Japanese – raises the long-standing silence surrounding sexual abuse of clergy apprentices.
Jacob Bernstein – the pseudonym of a victim – has won an apology, but Dr. Yitzhak Kadman said this was preceded by death threats.
Bernstein was the son of an Australian diplomat of Jewish origin, he arrived in Tokyo in 1964 on a diplomatic mission.
Jacob was sent to the local Catholic school, “Saint Mary”, and since the Bernstein family maintained a kosher food – brought with him from home lunch ready, and he could not eat with the other children in the dining room.

In the afternoon, when he was 11 – he decided to enter the church, and eat lunch alone.
When he came into the abandoned church two clerics, Bernstein recognised – Brother Lawrence Lambert.
“Brother Lawrence said that I should be punished because I are in a church,” he recalls.
“I thought I would get lashes, although I can not remember who used physical punishment at school.”

The monks carried the young Bernstein and committed brutal sodomy.
Only after the two left together the church, they noticed that his mother gave him a toothpick for fish that was his favorite lunch, and he pierced it deep into the Monk’s hand.
“I pressed him so hard that the splinter pierced my hand and I had to pull it out.”
The doctor revealed the secret
Traumatic incident Bernstein pursued since. He remembers that one of the monks who took part in performing the act,

Full Story
They Threatened him to be quiet, but he does not remember any of them. Only a few days after, his mother noticed that something was amiss. The documented written statement was published two years ago, and said: “In 1965, I can not remember the date, but it was the middle of the year, our maid Mottzoko-san brought me a pair of Jacob’s underpants and they  were stained with blood.
“I took him immediately to the doctor, Dr. Pierre, who was from New Zealand and lives in Tokyo.
He was the official doctor of the Embassy (Australia).
Jacob did not say what was wrong.
Earlier that day he did not want to go to school, and said he had a stomach infection, I assumed a problem of gastroenteritis.
He went unwillingly to the car. ”
According to the mother, Dr. Pierre prescribed medication and sent the two men, without telling them the real reason for his condition. But she says her husband then immediately returned home, and told that the Doctor called him and told him that his son had been a sexual assault.
“Immediately we thought it might have been one of the drivers or the gardener,” says the mother deposition.
“We talked with Jacob and did not tell immediately what had happened, but hinted that it was in school, and if you don’t tell us, Reverend Lawrence would do the same to the end, to your younger brother. Then we realized who the offender was.”
Jacob and his younger brother were immediately removed from that institution.
The matter with the school was handled through the embassy, ​​while the school management undertook that the attacker priest, Lawrence Lambert, will be sent back to Canada, and no longer allowed to teach children.
“Later,” the mother said, “We realized that this promise has been violated”.
The church flew to Bernstein and his family for a ritual apology
Indeed, according to school records, appeared in The Japan Times, his teaching career had not stopped
it also has been upgraded. After a short period in Canada he returned to Japan, and in 1982 even became its director of school education “St. Mary” – a position he held for many years, until his retirement. Even after it went live on the school premises.
Bernstein tried to put an end to his trauma at the age of 12, and has a complex and difficult adolescence.
It took him 49 years to make a call to the educational institution and its leader today, for one requirement – a written apology by four people – led by Brother Lawrence.
Only recently, at the age of 61, did he receive a public direct apology.
Bernstein, his wife and son were flown to Tokyo at the expense of the church, and two monks, Lawrence and current headmaster, showed up in the synagogue, in the presence of the local community and apologized.
On that occasion Brother Lawrence turned to Bernstein, and said: “The truth of the matter is I still do not understand the fact that I raped you. This was the first time in my life I did it, and I did it again … Suddenly passion took over, and I did something I’d never have thought to do, and in selfishness and violence hurt your body and hurt your soul for life “.
So far, despite the entreaties of the “Japan Times” Other media outlets in the country, school and church officially refused to comment on the case.
Publication of the article led to threats against the victim’s life

Common to all the victims is that it is always the children who are weak, and always attacker has the status and authority, and the odds were rejected are slim. When it starts to float, there is a pressure roller Everything causes tremendous silence. ”
“Bernstein wanted more than the apology received from two priests. He wanted to take responsibility on the part of the order, but did not receive it. Exchange of emails between us, said that since the publication of the article he received death threats from various parties, demanding that he stop his struggle”.
“Ostensibly, you say: After fifty years, what do you care? But the important thing to understand with victims of sexual assault, that they live with a sense of unfinished business. They want people to know that it happened, and it was not the fruit of their imagination. They want that anyone should admit their crime. It’s important for them extraordinarily, to know the truth came out and that it was right. ”
The case also sparked interest in Japan?
“I do not know enough about the system there, but Japan is a country closed and very conservative. They do not talk.
Abuse within the family, as well as less serious things covered in silence.
This is a very different culture.
I have not heard that they woke up. ”
“On the other hand, in Israel, there is now an awakening in the very large ultra-Orthodox public. Only recently passed there have been seminars in the Seminary. There is a lot of silence around the issue, but that’s really not what it was twenty years ago. A lot of rabbis refer parents to the police to complain, when arriving with a history of abuse. Long ago in Orthodox Jerusalem they decided to subtly talk about it in religious schools. Once it was impossible to imagine such a thing.”
Kedman says that these days the Child Welfare Council is working on an explanatory booklet for detecting the effects of sexual abuse for the broad audience, including sports coaches and therapists and for dorms.
“I did not have to wait fifty years before people will gather up the pieces, and will rise to scream what was done to them.”

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

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