Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Knowledge is Power

Is it a good idea to have a public discourse about matters of abuse – sexual or otherwise – in the public square? I obviously think so. Whenever these matters come up in public via the mass media, not only should we discuss them – we must! But many people feel that going so is not only counter productive but’ hanging our dirty laundry in public’.

This complaint is most often leveled by Charedim when these issues come up in their circles calling such discussions tantamount to Charedi bashing. I do not agree. Obviously. Silence in these matters is far more harmful that speaking out. I am not alone in this view:

As I see things, many of us – with the best of intentions – are not discussing critical klal matters in our public squares because we want to protect the innocence of our children and the reputation of our community. Moreover, some take it a step further and accuse individuals who do discuss them of ‘charedi-bashing,’ “He never says anything nice,” or worse, discouraging or intimidating people who deal with these problems on a daily basis from speaking out. But we are merely shielding our children and kehila from the wrong half – the beneficial side – while leaving them completely exposed to what we are trying to protect them from.

He goes on to suggest that there are some bloggers 'who have a jaundiced view of our kehila' . I think he’s right. But that does not include me. And I think (or at least hope) he would agree. In any case the rest of Rabbi Horowitz’s article can be found on his website. And for those who read this blog regularly, it should sound very familiar.