Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Exposing the Exposers

Someone I know quite well has brought to my attention a serious situation going on in a post high school seminary for girls in Israel that his daughter attended. The seminary, Machon Zlata, run by a certain Rabbi Pid, is one of the most popular destinations for Beis Yaakov girls in America for their year in Israel. In fact Rabbi Pid usually has to turn down many an applicant. He chooses his students very carefully after going on recruiting trips throughout the United States, visiting all the Beis Yaakovs and personally interviewing each young teenage girl.

But he is a fraud. And he is a very sick individual. He is a sexual predator, who gets friendly and close with these very naive girls and often invites them over to his house for an “inspirational” Shabbos. In middle of the night, while his wife sleeps, he will sometimes sneak into the most vulnerable of the girls’ rooms in order to engage in deviant sexual behavior. Rabbi Pid has been getting away with this behavior for years. The victims have refused to prosecute him thinking it is Lashon Hara.

But finally after many years of sexually abusing the most vulnerable of his students this Rabbi is going to be exposed. A young victimized young woman confided in her parents who asked me to expose him to the world for the sexual predator he is. I can’t imagine how many girls have been victimized over the years by this pervert, Rabbi Stuart Pid.

The reason I can’t imagine it is because the story is completely false. I just made it up. It is a total lie. There is no Rabbi Stuart Pid. There is no Machon Zlata. There was no abuse. Had I not admitted it and if there really was such a seminary head his reputation and career would have been ruined. Why did I make up this story? Because I wanted to demonstrate that it doesn’t take much to falsely accuse someone. If I have a vendetta for any reason against someone and I am unscrupulous enough and have a blog that has a lot of readers... I can do a lot of damage with a lie like that. In fact I can ruin a life with such a lie.

The recent story of a Rebbi in a Torah Temimah who has been accused sexual misconduct with students over a period of many years was first brought up in a blog called Un-Orthodox Jew (UOJ). Without getting into the details of this particular case or the cover-up (which I covered in an earlier post) I am outraged by what I saw on that blog. Someone sent me one of his earlier posts where-in good people were besmirched without a shred of evidence. Now I don’t know which if any of his accusations are true or false. There seems to be much evidence of truth in the Torah Temimah case but that does not mean he is to be trusted in every accusation he makes.

I have very mixed feelings about this fellow. On the one hand he has done a very great service in exposing a cancer in our midst. On the other hand his "shoot from the hip"... scatter gun approach can do much harm to innocent Mechanchim who have been falsely accused. In one case he lumps together a Menahel of one popular seminary who has been accused of specific sexual deviance, with the Menahel of another one who he accuses of sexual misconduct simply because of the close relationships he maintains with these girls.

Having a close relationship with a student does not automatically make someone a pervert. But UOJ doesn’t make that distinction. In his zeal he does not mind smearing good people.

In his bio UOJ states that he was raised in a prominent Orthodox Jewish home, was privileged to get a wonderful education and that he has a legitimate Smicha.

But I question his integrity. To state that he has Smicha in his blog where he constantly uses Nivul Peh and gives very expicit descriptions of sexual misconduct puts to shame his Smicha, the person who gave it to him, and his entire family. The descriptions don't have to be so explicit. That they are shows at best a certain lack of refinement in character. Using Nivul Peh and such explicit sexual illustrarions on so regular a basis may be more dramatic, but it undermines his credibility, besmirches his title, and in the process it besmirches the Torah he supposedly observes as well. I therefore would not put much credence in what he says. Even if the recent exposé in New York Magazine (stemmimg from his blog) seems to be legitimate, that does not give him license to falsely accuse innocent people with lies and innuendo.

This fellow accuses innocent people of being Menuvalim?! Let him look in the mirror.