Friday, October 10, 2008

A Heimishe Molester

I’m at a loss about this story. The very fact that there exists the term Heimishe molester (as he is being described by other Orthodox blogs) speaks volumes! Is it true? Who knows? Is it possible? Unfortunatly - very much so based on recent history with such people!

There has to be an end put to tolerance of the molesters in our midst. But despite the fact that much has been written on the subject by many good and decent people, precious little is being done.

I speak not about the average religious Jew - whether he is Charedi or Modern Orthodox. I speak about Jewish religious leadership. This seems to be one area where religious leadership is failing us big time.

This is not meant to leave any of us (and I include myself) off the hook. We need to do all we can. But in reality what that amounts to is putting pressure on our religious leadership to be more proactive in putting an end to this behavior once and for all.

It seems to me that the rabbinic leadership can do it, if they would only have the will. Here is one way they could have helped recently – and didn’t.

They should have publicly rebuked the Kannaim who undermined the good intentions of people like Dr. Benzion Twerski. He was ‘forced’ to resign from a commission set up by New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind to deal with molesters in the Torah world. If I were a rabbinic leader, I would not have allowed Rabbi Twerski to resign. I would have instead strongly rebuked all attempts to intimidate Dr. Twerski. I would, have further offered to serve on the commission myself. Why this was not done is a puzzle to me.

There is so much trouble going on in the world today. The stock market is crashing. People with large fortunes are becoming destitute. Many people with good jobs have been fired by companies affected by this terrible economy. And it seems like more people than ever are getting sick.

Maybe this is a message from God? Maybe He was trying to tell us something on Yom Kippur day when the stock market (Dow Jones industrial averges) dropped by over 600 points?

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz has stepped up once again and gone out an a very far limb. He deserves tremendous credit and support.

Here is an excerpt from Rabbi Horowitz’s website which I think speaks directly to those who would counter my call for action. It reflects my own views exactly:

If your children are married and out of your home, feel free to join those who blame these stories on “Anti-Semitic, goyishe newspapers,” and “Self-hating-Jews-who-love-to-bash-charedim.” Or, you can join those who would rather stay clueless and say things like, “Wow, did you hear that story? Please pass the salt.” You can also trust the ‘leaders’ who tell you not to worry about this since there are only an infinitesimal number of frum pedophiles. But if you are a parent still entrusted with the care of your children, please read the non-airbrushed story in the secular newspapers and be frightened. Very, very frightened.