Sunday, October 26, 2008

Child Abuse - Tzemach Tzedek/ Dr. Klafter comments

The Tzemach Tzedek - the third Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote one of the first teshuvos regarding child abuse. It was included in a list of citation sent to me by jewishwhistleblower from a footnote #33 - by Prof. Marc Shapiro. [New link] The translation is that of Prof. Shapiro. I asked the psychiatrist Dr. Nachum Klafter - who is very familiar with the issue of child abuse as well as the Torah sources - how he understood this teshuva. He has given me permission to post part of his response. He raises a very critical issue regarding child abuse - to what degree is it necessary for poskim to consult with experts in the field? I recently asked a posek why the issue of child abuse is being handled differently now than it was a few years ago. He replied that the poskim are now becoming more informed of the seriousness of the harm to the child.

R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (the third Lubavitcher Rebbe) in Tzemah Tzedek, Yoreh Deah, #237, was asked the following question:
A rabbi was playing with a young man on Purim and stuck his hands into the pants of the youth. The rabbi claimed that he did so because he was unable to perform sexually. He thought that this was due to his small testicles and he wanted to see if he was unusual in this regard. In other words, the rabbi was conducting a medical examination on the boy. The Tzemah Tzedek decided that the rabbi should not be removed from his position, as he provided a good explanation for his behavior.
The Chabad web site has the Hebrew original

צמח צדק (סימן רלז): לשו"ע סי' רמ"ו וסי' של"ד סמ"ב. ע"ד החשד שהיה על ההמ"צ דמחניכם ששחק עם נער א' בפורים והכניס ידו לתוך מכנסים של הנער אך נותן אמתלא ע"ז כי [הוא] חשוכי בנים מפני שאין לו ג"א מצד שהביצים שלו קטנים ביותר. ולכן רצה לידע אם כמ"כ הם אצל שארי אנשים:

הנה בירושלמי הביאו בב"י סס"י של"ד ובכ"מ פ"ז מהת"ת זקן שסרח אין מורידין אותו מגדולתו. לפ"ז מ"ש בש"ס שלנו במ"ק (די"ז) הכבד ושב בביתך. אין ר"ל להורידו מגדולתו כלל. והנה צ"ל דהפוסקים פסקו כר"ל דאמר ת"ח שסרח אין מנדין אותו כו'. ופסקו ג"כ כרב יהודה דשמתי' לההוא צורבא מרבנן דהוי סאני שומעני'. ושניהם במ"ק שם. והרי הם זה לעומת זה. הן אמת מדברי הרמב"ם נ' דהחילוק כך דפוסק כרב יהודה כמ"ש בפ"ו מהת"ת בסופו וז"ל חכם ששמועתו רעה ומ"ש רפ"ז מהת"ת אין מנדין היינו דוקא חכם זקן מופלג או אב"ד כו'. וכן מצאתי בב"י סי' של"ד שחילק בכה"ג בד"ה ומ"ש וכן כל ת"ח כו'. אך בטור שם משמע דמחלק בענין אחר והוא דרב יהודה מיירי בסני שומעני' דהיינו מתביישים משמועתו וזה גרע טפי מפני דה"ל חילול השם וכדאיתא ביומא דפ"ו. ומעתה בנד"ז י"ל דה"ל חילול השם. ויש להחמיר להרא"ש. אבל לפ"ד הרמב"ם כיון דהוא כמו אב"ד בעירו וראש העיר אין להעבירו כו'. ועיין בתשו' שער אפרים סי' ס"ד ס"ה. אך בנ"ד שנותן אמתלא טובה על הדבר י"ל דלכ"ע אין להעבירו כלל דאמתלא מהני בגמ' נגד כמה דברים

Dr. Klafter replied:
The Tzemach Tzedek, like all other human beings with no education about child sexual abuse or training in deviant sexuality, has a very limited capacity to imagine how a Rabbi would wish to do this to a boy. It is something which he himself, like all other normal human beings, would not find sexually gratifying or appealing. It is, to the contrary, instinctively horrifying and repugnant to him. Therefore, he is very ready to accept any rationalization or explanation, however implausible, which will allow him to deny the reality of homosexual pedophilia. This same psychological defensive style (which, again, is normal) is also what allows many misguided rabbonim to conclude that a Rebbe with a history of molesting bochurim has "done teshuva" and therefore will no longer be a risk to boys. To poskin that such a rabbi need not be removed from his position, the Tzemach Tzedek should have at least interviewed the victim to find out if he had complained of sexual dysfunction and if he was seeking the accused rabbi's assistance and guidance. If that was not done, it might be a further indication that there was an a priori wish to exonerate the Rabbi which is based on what appears to be a universal tendency to disbelieve, dismiss, and suppress from public awareness allegations of sexual abuse, rather than to take them seriously, investigate them. and implement.

55 comments :

  1. Dr. Klafter raises the question that the Tzemach Tzedek should have, at least, investigated whether the young man had indeed approached the rabbi in question for help regarding his inability to have children.

    Do we have any evidence that there was no such investigation? It would seem to be a reasonable assumption that there was and that the details of this investigation were conveyed to the Tzemach Tzedek in the original question.

    Also, it seems rather inaccurate to describe this case as one of "child sexual abuse" or "homosexual pedophilia" being that the case appears to involve a married young man, not a child.

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  2. Dr. Klafter has provided a clearly written polemic about how very terrrrrrrrible it is - but with
    little or no substance.

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  3. The text refers to him as a נער. A rabbi putting his hands down the pants of a נער indeed sounds like homosexual pedophilia. It is only the rabbi's explanation after the fact that states that states that he suffered from reproductive dysfunction.

    The basis to not follow the Rosh is that the Rabbi provided an אמתלא(an "explanation" or "excuse"). Therefore, what I think is very clearly implied is that the youth was certainly NOT interviewed, or else that would have been provided as a basis for the pesak. A clarificaion by the alleged victim would not be called an אמתלא. It would be called עדות. (I cannot 100% certain about this based on the teshuva, which is why I wrote in my response "If that was not done..." But thinking about it now, it strikes me as highly implausible that the youth was interviewed or interrogated by a beis din.)

    What it sounds like to me is that the boy complained about this or people witnessed it, and then the Rabbi stated this as the justification for his behavior.

    One can also note the lack of any statement about the need to protect the public from sexual predators. The teshuva is limited to חילול ה' וכבוד התורה.

    There is much to be learned from this teshuva which is relevant to our era. If gedolei olam like the Tzemach Tzedek, who devoted his entire life and Torah leadership to seving כלל ישראל would author a teshuva about this which addresses only the technical question of defrocking or removing the rabbi in quesiton from his position. We should therefore not be surprised if Rabbis in our generation are not trained to deal with such cases well either.

    I am not saying that anything is "very terrible." To the contrary, I am saying that this is absolutely normal and to be expected. A normal person, regardless of how brilliant and righteous a Rabbi he is, cannot be expected to know how to identify sexual abuse, or how to intervene to prevent it. It is something so strange and foreign to the imagination and desires of normal people.

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  4. Rabbi Eidensohn was kind enough to alert me to the post. Dr. Klafter has actually misinterpreted the responsum and what I wrote. The issue is that the rabbi put his hands on the boy's testicles. When confronted with it, the rabbi said that he [i.e., the rabbi] had small testicles and he wanted to see if the testicles of other men were similar. That is why he put his hands down the boy's pants. The boy was not the one who was having trouble having children, but the rabbi! (a married man is not called a na'ar)

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  5. Defender of Tzemach TzedekOctober 26, 2008 at 9:48 PM

    I can't attest to the accuracy of Dr Klafter's assumptions about the ignorance of abuse in earlier generations, nor do I think he can. That is, abuse may have been prevalent but ignored or unknown except to the slime who practiced it and to their victims who were afraid to speak up, and it may have been so uncommon as to have been practically irrelevant sociologically and halachically with almost no real occurrence.

    I don't think there is any clear data about this, although I would be pleased to learn differently.

    Personally, after having spoken with several aged Rabbonim about this and looking at the differences between my grandfather's generation and ours, I think the latter is more likely and that is why there is no mesorah on this but ultimately I can't really know.

    Anyway, a couple of thoughts.

    A na'ar is often not a child. Yosef is called a naar at age 17 at a point in history where 17 year olds were full grown men, eg., Shimon and Levi at the age of twelve went to war with Shechem etc....Yitzchak is called a naar at the age of 37 according to most of chazal and 13 according to some others. Yishmael is already involved in the gimmel chamuros as a naar and thus is sent away. The list goes on...

    The term naar refers to males within a very broad age group and despite the excitement of another teshuvah about child molestation I question the assertion that naar in the Tzemach Tzedek's lexicon refers to a child.

    The rest may be superfluous but I question the translation of the case. It sounds from the original like the Rav was childless and claimed he checked the naar for comparison purposes, not that he was checking the naar's complaint. This makes the excuse seem even less likely to our modern ears but regardless we lack a great deal of information here.

    It is of course clear to the average internet surfer that this was a case of abuse and not curiosity but without going into the mindset of that generation it is difficult to truly know. The TT was not an idiot and if he considered this a reasonable excuse, he was certainly more in tune with his times and its challenges than we are, and might have been a better judge than we are about what went on then. We shouldn't forget that our immersion in a hypersexualized culture unimaginable to previous generations leaves a mark on us and our natural assumptions say more about ourselves and our world than about the world 100 years ago.

    It is likely that they understood this at minimum as an abrogation of tznius - and maximally as a homosexual act but not as abuse of a child. And it is very unclear whether this was abuse of a child.

    As noted earlier, the prevalence of abuse in earlier generations is unknown as is what the understanding of the Tzemach Tzedek would have been had he encountered it.

    It is also possible that the profile of an offender then differed from today's profile since every generation seems to have its peculiar psychological makeup but that is a whole different subject and not for now. If any of the above is correct then Monday morning quarterbacking the Tzemach Tzedek seems curious if not downright ridiculous.

    After all is said and done, let this not be mistaken as support for some naive Rabbonim who don't yet know very much about this and wrongfully protect offenders from the punishments due them for their hideous crimes. The very fact of their naivete is what leads me to suspect that this is a fairly new phenomena but again this is all theoretical.

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  6. Marc Shapiro said...

    ...the rabbi said that he [i.e., the rabbi] had small testicles and he wanted to see if the testicles of other men were similar.

    Ah, that makes much more sense!

    Given that case, I would have to join with those who find the teshuva rather disconcerting. At the same time, as "Defender" points out, second-guessing a teshuva from a century and a half ago in Eastern Europe based on our own cultural assumptions is an iffy proposition at best.

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  7. Dr. Shapiro thank you for clarifying. Yes, I was confused by all of this, in part because this excuse is so implausible that I could not accept that this is the case.

    So, the accused Rabbi is stating that in order to consider whether another man's testicles are too small, he is going to examine the testicles of an unsuspecting youth in the middle of a Purim celebration.

    Despite my confusion, I would still contend that this absolutely sounds like a case of homosexual pedophilia which is being disavowed by the perpetrator with a very implausible "אמתלא" and I stand by my statement that the naitvite of this godol is indicative of what many, many well meaning Rabbis in our times with normal imaginations do in the face of allegations of sexual abuse.

    "Defender of Tzemach Tzeded" talks about "protecting abusers". I am not suggesting that the Tzemach Tzedek was protecting an abuser. I am suggesting that he was too naive in accepting a totally implausible excuse and therefore failed to recognize sexual abuse. So, yes, I am willing to second guess the stated facts in a teshuva 2 centuries later.

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    Replies
    1. You totally misunderstood the Tshuvo.

      The Rav had difficulty performing and was testing others' testicles to see if they matched his own.

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  8. I don't understand Prof. Shapiro's translation. My reading is that the Rav was impotent (sh'ain lo gevuras anashim) and consequently had no children. He wanted to see if a boy or young teenage (naar) who also had relatively small testicles would also be incapable of an erection. It doesn't make sense that he didn't know the size of other people's testicles because I assume he went to mikvah. This explanation made sense to the Tzemach Tzedek - but it doesn't make sense to us.

    The argument of "defender of Tzemach Tzedek (1789- 1866) is that perhaps child molesting was very rare in those days and that is why the explanation actually made sense to the Tzemach Tzedek. The only other teshuva from this time period (1800's) that I have found is that of the Sho'el U'meishiv which seems to assume that sexual abuse of children did take place.

    Sho'el U'Meishiv(1:185): http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/03/important-responsum-regarding-child.html In the year 5613 (1850) it occurred in a certain city; a rumor was heard about a certain teacher, who lives there now for 8 years, and the children who learned from him in their youth, and are currently 13 years old and more, testify that in their youth (minority) when they learned from him he defiled them with homosexual intercourse, God save us. And in the past summer when the thing became known to a God-fearing man, he cried a great and bitter outcry, and the thing came before the rabbi and head of the bet din, and they did not wish to accept testimony. And this man [the accused] accepted upon himself with swear and oath that immediately after the semester he would move from there. And behold, afterward he wished to be a teacher in Lvov. And when the rumor was heard in Lvov one respected layman sent a letter to the rabbi, head of the holy bet din, and he responded that he would seat there a beis din to investigate and inquire into the matter, and he did not find a speck of disqualification according to the Torah, and there was no clarification on the topic, and a judge has only that which his eyes see, and the aforementioned custom is under his control (?)...

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  9. Daas Torah -- I am saying the exact same thing you are!

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  10. Actually, I spoke to fast -- there is nothing about an erection in the teshuvah. The rabbi was caught with his hands down the boy's pants, and his excuse was that he wanted to see if his testicles were unusually small, and therefore he was touching the boy for comparative purposes. Note the word "hem" at the end of the first paragraph. This refers to "beitzim"

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  11. Comment regarding "Naar":

    "A na'ar is often not a child. Yosef is called a naar at age 17 at a point in history where 17 year olds were full grown men, eg., Shimon and Levi at the age of twelve went to war with Shechem etc....Yitzchak is called a naar at the age of 37 according to most of chazal and 13 according to some others. Yishmael is already involved in the gimmel chamuros as a naar and thus is sent away. The list goes on...".

    You are confusing naar in TSHBKT and Torah SheBaal Peh. In the former Naar can be attributed at times to someone who is already a grown man (the best case not mention by the defender maybe Yehoshua Naar where he might have surpassed his fifties!); but in the latter there seems to be a clear distinction between naar and above that, in a way that naar refers to someone not fully grown.

    A couple examples: רש"י מסכת מגילה דף ה עמוד ב כד הוינא טליא - כשהייתי נער.
    רמב"ם הלכות תפילה ונשיאת כפים פרק טו הלכה ד
    השנים כיצד כהן נער לא ישא את כפיו עד ד שיתמלא זקנו,

    This Beyt Yossef is very telling that he seems to be meayek from the lashon “naar” that someone who is of age to have a beard is like someone who haas full grown beard. And someone who has a little grown beard is as if he would alrady have a full grown beard. It appears that naar does not surpass the age of 18.
    בית יוסף אורח חיים סימן נג אות ח - ט ד"ה והיכא שהוא

    ח - ט והיכא שהוא גדול בשנים אלא שאינו בעל זקן אפשר דראוי להתמנות לשליח ציבור שכל שניכר בו שהגיע לכלל שנים שראוי להתמלאות זקנו נתמלא זקנו קרינן ביה וכן יש לדקדק ממה שכתב הרמב"ם בפרק ט"ו מהלכות תפילה (ה"ד) כהן נער לא ישא את כפיו עד שיתמלא זקנו משמע דדוקא כשלא נתמלא זקנו מחמת נערות קאמר דלא ישא את כפיו הא אם הוא גדול שראוי שתתמלא זקנו אע"פ שאין לו זקן כלל נושא את כפיו ואע"ג דכל שלא נתמלא זקנו אינו נושא את כפיו האי כנתמלא זקנו חשיב ומצאתי סמך לדברי במסכת סופרים פי"ד (הי"ז) והעובר לפני התיבה והנושא את כפיו עד שיהא בן עשרים שנה ובעל זקן אבל אין לו זקן והוא בן עשרים אע"פ שנראה כסריס ויש אומרים אפילו סריס עצמו מותר אבל אם עלה זקנו אפילו מבן י"ח מותר לעבור לפני התיבה ולישא כפיו ע"כ: וכתוב בנמוקי יוסף פרק הקורא עומד בשם הגאונים דמי שאין לו רק זקן מועט כיון שהוא בן שנים כמי שנתמלא זקנו דמי:

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  12. Dear Daat Torah wrote:

    "The argument of "defender of Tzemach Tzedek (1789- 1866) is that perhaps child molesting was very rare in those days and that is why the explanation actually made sense to the Tzemach Tzedek. The only other teshuva from this time period (1800's) that I have found is that of the Sho'el U'meishiv which seems to assume that sexual abuse of children did take place".

    And quotes the teshuva: "Sho'el U'Meishiv(1:185): http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/03/important-responsum-regarding-child.html In the year 5613 (1850) it occurred in a certain city; a rumor was heard about a certain teacher, who lives there now for 8 years, and the children who learned from him in their youth, and are currently 13 years old and more, testify that in their youth (minority) when they learned from him he defiled them with homosexual intercourse, God save us. And in the past summer when the thing became known to a God-fearing man, he cried a great and bitter outcry, and the thing came before the rabbi and head of the bet din, and they did not wish to accept testimony. And this man [the accused] accepted upon himself with swear and oath that immediately after the semester he would move from there. And behold, afterward he wished to be a teacher in Lvov. And when the rumor was heard in Lvov one respected layman sent a letter to the rabbi, head of the holy bet din, and he responded that he would seat there a beis din to investigate and inquire into the matter, and he did not find a speck of disqualification according to the Torah, and there was no clarification on the topic, and a judge has only that which his eyes see, and the aforementioned custom is under his control (?)..."

    How do you read from this teshuva that the occurence was not rare? Nothing in this teshuva suggests otherwise an the lack of other teshuvas would also sugfgest that it was not common (an so if we go back to the times of shulchan aruch?)

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  13. Let me put it this way: How would be feel if a rov in one of our shuls suddenly put his hands down the pants of a 14 year old boy during a Purim celebration? And in confronting him about this, he explained that he was impotent and wanted to examine the testicles of this boy to compare to his own. If not for a strong wish to exonerate this rabbi and a need to deny that molestation is occuring, how can one understand accepting such a completely implausible explanation? If you were on the board of the shul, what would you do? And regardless of the motivation, what would the experience be like for the boy?

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  14. Oren said...

    Dear Daat Torah wrote:

    "The argument of "defender of Tzemach Tzedek (1789- 1866) is that perhaps child molesting was very rare in those days and that is why the explanation actually made sense to the Tzemach Tzedek. The only other teshuva from this time period (1800's) that I have found is that of the Sho'el U'meishiv which seems to assume that sexual abuse of children did take place".

    And quotes the teshuva: "Sho'el U'Meishiv(1:185): http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/03/important-responsum-regarding-child.html In the year 5613 (1850) it occurred in a certain city; a rumor was heard about a certain teacher, who lives there now for 8 years, and the children who learned from him in their youth, and are currently 13 years old and more, testify that in their youth (minority) when they learned from him he defiled them with homosexual intercourse, God save us. [...]
    How do you read from this teshuva that the occurence was not rare? Nothing in this teshuva suggests otherwise an the lack of other teshuvas would also sugfgest that it was not common (an so if we go back to the times of shulchan aruch?)
    ==================
    The inference that child molesting was rare is from the lack of discussion in the literature and the Tzemach Tzedek's acceptance of an argument that he viewed as plausible but is not plausible to us. It would only seem plausible to someone for whom this is a very rare occurence. In contrast the Sho'el U'Meishiv is clearly aware of the phenomenon. He is only bothered by the lack of 2 kosher eidim to validate that which he clearly accepts as happening. He accepts lesser testimony by stating it is inherent in this type of activity that there will not be kosher witnesses. In contrast, the case of the TT apparently occurred in public, the Rav did not deny what he had done. The only issue is what it meant. The S &M knew exactly what the activity was and no absurd explanation would have been acceptable as defense.

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  15. Oren: You interpret the fact that sexual abuse was hardly discussed in the responsa literature to mean that it was very rare in former times. Another interpretation, and the conventional wisdom of mental health professionals, is that it was not discussed openly on most Western societies because it was not recognized, and when it was recognized it was suppressed and denied.

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  16. "How would be feel if a rov in one of our shuls suddenly put his hands down the pants of a 14 year old boy during a Purim celebration?"

    Just parenthetically, one might have said, that the person was mekayem ad deloh yada till he did know between....

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  17. Nachum,

    I'm not interpreting it categorically in this fashion; just making a suggestion.

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  18. In addition, one may argue (and agin you may be right and I could be wrong) that if it would be a common occurrence it would not be denied.

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  19. Marc Shapiro said...

    Actually, I spoke to fast -- there is nothing about an erection in the teshuvah. The rabbi was caught with his hands down the boy's pants, and his excuse was that he wanted to see if his testicles were unusually small, and therefore he was touching the boy for comparative purposes. Note the word "hem" at the end of the first paragraph. This refers to "beitzim"
    =============
    I agree with your pshat - it just doesn't make sense since if he were just investigating size the mikveh would be a simpler place.

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  20. Daat Torah -- Of course it doesn't make sense! That's the point! He was clearly engaged in a pedophile act, and when caught the best he could come up with to justify himself was that he was conducting a medical exam! I guess he could say that in the mikveh he never looked at anyone else.
    From our perspective the ruling of the Tzemach Tzedek is shocking, but this was a different era. People were not really aware of the dynamics of sexual abuse.

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  21. Marc Shapiro said...

    Daat Torah -- Of course it doesn't make sense! That's the point! He was clearly engaged in a pedophile act, and when caught the best he could come up with to justify himself was that he was conducting a medical exam! I guess he could say that in the mikveh he never looked at anyone else.
    From our perspective the ruling of the Tzemach Tzedek is shocking, but this was a different era. People were not really aware of the dynamics of sexual abuse.
    =====================
    So you are agreeing with Dr. Klafter that the Tzemeach Tzedek was naive about sexual abuse?

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  22. Marc Shapiro said...

    "Daat Torah -- Of course it doesn't make sense! That's the point! He was clearly engaged in a pedophile act, and when caught the best he could come up with to justify himself was that he was conducting a medical exam! I guess he could say that in the mikveh he never looked at anyone else.
    From our perspective the ruling of the Tzemach Tzedek is shocking, but this was a different era. People were not really aware of the dynamics of sexual abuse."

    There is an angle that we are not looking at. That is the fact that it would be known that this rav was childless. The question remains if he had ever told anybody about his impotency or not. Was he having marital problems at the time that anybody might have been aware of. This explanation (even if it was a lie) might have not just been plausible but sometimes when somebody reveals something painful about themselves it makes an impact towards the listener. Whether it is true or not is another thing.

    Also like Daas Torah said, there was eidus involved here. Usually true pedophiles operate stealthily.

    As far as Dr. Klafter's asperations on the Tzemach Tzedek's common sense is conserned, I think that this is a load of bunk. A lot of Jews in the States think that when they look at Admorim and roshei yeshivot in America today they can see a reflexion of old Europe. I would beg to differ. Many of the Eastern European rabbis that were born before ww2 that I have met and I have heard about were very no nonsense and I might even accuse them of shooting first and asking questions later.

    Unfortunately we do not have very much information from this responsa as to how the events evolved in order to draw any conclusions.

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  23. For purposes of clarity, the Teshuva is as follows:

    "Regarding the suspicion which there was on the Ma"tz of your community that he played with a youth on Purim and he inserted his hand into the pants of the youth but he provides on alibi for this that he is childless because of erectile dysfunction due to his testicles' exceptionally small size. And therefore he wished to know if likewise they are such with other people".

    The answer in short: on the one hand we pasken אב בית דין שסרח אין מנדין אותו אלא אומר לו הכבד ושב בביתך which means that זקן שסרח אין מורידין אותו מגדולתו, while on the other we pasken that שמתי' לההוא צורבא מרבנן דהוי סאני שומעני'.

    The Rambam distinguishes between a Talmid Chacham and on Av Beis Din (which this Rav was) - a point in the Rav's favor -, while the Rosh maintains that the distinction lies where there is a Chillul Hashem (which there was) - with the opposite result -.

    The Tzemach Tzedek concludes that even the Rosh would agree that there is no Halachic basis for firing the Rav because the Rav has the power of a Halachic Amasla-Alibi.

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  24. Simply put, this is not an issue of whether the Rav is a pervert and is in need of therapy etc. the question is simply can the community legally fire their Rav or not?

    While people like to believe that Halacha is irrelevant, the facts of the matter are that one can't simply run a Rav out of town, there are clear-cut Halachos on the topic which the TzTz cites.

    Amasla as well is a Halachic legal concept which cannot be dismissed no matter how great a Psychologist you may be. It was G-d who we believe created it and all complaints should be directed to him.

    As long as a Halachic counter-argument isn't provided, this entire discussion is worthless and furthermore, Hepech HaTorah.

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  25. Klarer Kop:
    I don't agree with you.

    The problem is that rabbis often do not use the full breath of tools they have in order to find out if there is really a case of child abuse. Like someone said at the beginning of the discussion: apperently the child was not asked for testimony.

    And come on, the excuse is really lame: I mean: if he thinks that his own testicles are to small.
    1) Why did he not go to a doctor and have his testicles checked. The doctor could tell him if they are within norm or not.

    If there was no doctor in town or if the doctor was to expensive, there are still a series of questions:
    2) why does he check against a naar and not against an adult person?
    3) Why does he check by touching and not by looking? (and in a situation where he cannot see the testicles)
    4) why does it have to be on purim while everyone is dressed and not on an other occasion (see mikva)?
    5) Why did he not ask for consent beforehand(of an adult, who would be a more suitable object for comparison)?

    So I also find it really astonishing that the Tsemach tsedek accepted this excuse...

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  26. The Teshuva does not deal with the actual case, rather he seems to be dealing with a more simple question – can this Rabbi be kept. As Nachum pointed out nothing is told about the child – from age, to how he responded, was he forced? Was he willing participant?
    The teshuva is strange, it sounds as like he is searching for a reason to keep the fellow. Based on the analogy he brings it sounds as if the person held a significant position, and he is therefore searching for reasons not to remove him. It is interesting that the fact that it was Purim is not discussed, (was alcohol a contributing factor?) because that could have been another line of defence. There are halachot regarding abuses (generally not sexual – other than cross-dressing – or at least partial cross-dressing) on Purim or Simchat Torah.

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  27. Rabbi Ari kahn said...

    The Teshuva does not deal with the actual case, rather he seems to be dealing with a more simple question – can this Rabbi be kept.
    ================
    Very interesting point - and one which clearly fits the language of the teshuva.
    It also is relevant to the issue in general. Should we be concerned primarily with protecting the victim or more concerning with preventing the perpetrator striking again or is the concern with the chillul hashem that would result if the perpetrator was publicly denounced? Accordingly the sophistication of the TT regarding child abuse is not of relevance but rather what halachic basis is there from saving the perpetrator from punishment and shame by interpreting his actions as innocently as possible.

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    Replies
    1. You missed the point.

      The weak Amaslo was accepted as a Snif.

      Delete
  28. I guess that from the rebbes excuse it was decided that there was an absence of malice. The question remained for the Tzemach Tzedek was if they were still halachically bound to fire him because of the Hillel Hashem factor.

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  29. Bartley Kulp said...

    I guess that from the rebbes excuse it was decided that there was an absence of malice.
    ===========
    What relevance is the question of malice?

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  30. Dr. Klafter,

    Are you saying that the TT was fooling himself, which means he was being dishonest, or are you saying that he was subconsciously horrified, and, therefore, was willing to accept this lame excuse?

    If the former is the case, and not the latter, then can't we apply this reasoning to any halachik psak? And how far back does this go? Can we say that there were amoraim who were horrified, and therefore paskend a certain way?
    Not challenging, just wanted to know your thoughts.

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  31. daas torah said...

    "What relevance is the question of malice?"

    After ascertaining innocence in intention on the part of the rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek still had to deal with whether or not the rebbe must be relieved of his position for stupid and repugnant behavior while satisfying all rishonic opinions.

    If it was determined that the rebbe was in fact seeking sexual gratification (malice) then he would have to be fired without investigating whether or not there is a differance between a talmud chacham or an av beit din.

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  32. "And how far back does this go? Can we say that there were amoraim who were horrified, and therefore paskend a certain way?
    Not challenging, just wanted to know your thoughts."

    First of all, I am not a posek and not even a rabbi. In fact, I didn't even read the teshuva properly--see Professor Shapiro's comments above. So I am not issuing "klalei hora'a."

    I simply responded in a private email to Rabbi Eidensohn my thoughts about how such a crazy excuse could have been accepted by a rabbi who caught fondling a boy.

    I will share my thoughts on your question but accept that caveat that I am not an expert in halakha. I am a stam ballebus who enjoys learning, and I am open to being corrected by either Rabbi Eidensohn, Rabbi Ari Kahn, or Professor Shapiro.

    My understanding is as follows. It does not really pose a threat to our emunas chachamim when we read the Shu"t literature and second guess the facts of a case because we find them to be implausible. For example, there are Shu"t from rishonim about magnets calling the 'kishuf' because of their seemingly magical and supernatural properties. I recently read a long teshuva by a contemporary Sefardi posek on the following case: A man suffers cardiac arrest, and the doctors label this as clinical death. He is revived after being "dead" for a few minutes. The halakhic question is this: Is his wife now permitted to marry another man, because she is an widow, halakhically? Are they required to undergo kidushin and obtain a new kesuba in order to continue living together?

    All of these cases involve a posek misunderstanding the data presented to him.

    As far as cases in the gemara, Rabbi Yitzchak Lamproti (Pachad Yitzchak) maintains that the gemeara has misunderstood the scientific facts about how lice reproduce, and that the psak of the gemara that it is permitted to kill lice on shabbos is incorrect. Other poskim do not accept this and believe that the psak to kill lice is part of the mesorah from Har Sinai and that the amoraim are only attempting to explain the existing mesorah, so even if they explain it wrong, it is still the mesorah. Other rabbis maintain that it is heresy to question whether Chazal had the capacity to discriminate between correct and incorrect scientific and medical theories in their time.

    So, back to the Tzemach Tzedek: I find it very hard to believe that a man would stick his hands down the pants of a boy during a Purim mesiba for the reasons cited in the Teshuva. I think this is was a homosexual pedophilic act. There are similar ma'asim being reported in our times, and there are similar reactions by those rabbis.

    Professor Shapiro has shared this teshuva with us as a significant historical precedent for the phenomenon of Rabbis not recognizing the existence of or meaning of child sexual abuse. Some individuals on this blog find it to be irresponsible to second guess a godol be-yisroel two centuries later. I respect their view, but find it hard to apply when the facts are so crazy like this case.

    I do not believe that any of this touches on ikkarei emuna. But I, my rabbis, and my teachers, follow the views of the ga'onim, rishionim, and acharonim who believe that on rare occasions even the greatest Sages can be misled by information.

    The halakhic process does not rest on a notion that individual rabbis are infallible in their judgment. A dayan is presented with information. He needs to interpret the meaning of that information. The halakhic reasoning afterward, the use of precendent, the weighing of competing opinions, the disctinction of the current case from other cases in the responsa literature, etc.--all of that is the halakhic process, and can only be ultimately evaluated by another posek who knows kol ha-Torah kula, and is ra'uy le-hora'ah.

    I have gone further than Professor Shapiro. He finds the facts of this case implausible, and he suggests that the Tzemach Tzedek was naive. I am saying that one of the reasons he was naive is that he was a normal. Not ordinary, but normal as in psychologically healthy with a high functioning, adaptive personality. Normal individuals frequently do not recognize sexual abuse because of unconconscious processes. This happens today in our times. Unlike the individuals who blame and get angry at people for denying or failing to recognize sexual abuse, I am suggesting that failure to identify sexual abuse has been the rule rather than the exception to the rule. The solution to this problem is implementation of good policies is schools, like mandatory criminal background checks for all employees, and reporting abusers to the authorities so they will be monitored. The solution is not to blame the public for being naive. It is normal to be naive about sexual abuse, pedophilia, and all other sexual perversions. I don't hope for a day that the whole frum world becomes sophisticated at dealing with sexual perversions. But I do think that our rabbonim, educators, and lay leaders need to be.

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  33. Just to add, the view that chazal's understanding of science and medicine was subject to the limitations of the state of scientific knolwedge in their times also appears to be the view of the gemara. See Pesachim 94b, for example, where the gemara concludes that the Gentile nations had a better understanding of astronomy than the Sages did. There are many other similar examples in the gemara. The following website catalogs many, many sources from Chazal, Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim on these topics. This is not centrally related to the question of the Tzemach Tzedek, but is very relevant to the question posed by Alter Yid to me about my personal emunas chachomim.

    Here is the link: http://torahandscience.blogspot.com/2006/04/sources-indicating-that-chazal-did-not.html

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  34. I don’t see what the big fuss is about here. The issue in the Teshuva was not how to deal with a child abuser, but how to deal with a rabbi SUSPECTED of child abuse. Even goyim understand that a man is innocent until proven guilty. The question was not whether the man had done the act, but whether it had been done with puerile intent. This had not been proven, because the man had an explanation that in that day and age was considered plausible. (As pointed out above, the very fact that he presented this claim in all seriousness as a defense indicates this.)

    But the same Teshuvah says that were it not for the explanation, i.e., if the conclusion of the investigation would have been that there had been puerile intent, or at least that that is what the evidence points to, then the Tzemach Tzedek says that that rabbi SHOULD be defrocked.

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  35. The knowledge of homosexual practices and the fact that there are those that engage in it doesn't require any particular scientific knowledge.

    Chazal were well aware of all forms of sexual deviancy as evidenced by many Rashi's in chumash identifying cases of this activity. There is also discussion in Avoda Zara about yichud with a person suspected of this or a group of people who would have this proclivity.

    It is totally inconceivable that a world class Talmid Chochom like the Tzemach Tzedek z"l would not be aware of a pedophilia problem.

    New fangled scientific or psychological theories are not needed to be up to speed on this issue.

    The Tzemach Tzedek must have felt that the noise generated by the shaale and the fear of further discovery would keep this Rov in line and would allow the rule of not removing an Av Bais din to apply.

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  36. "The Tzemach Tzedek must have felt that the noise generated by the shaale and the fear of further discovery would keep this Rov in line and would allow the rule of not removing an Av Bais din to apply."

    In that case you are far more cynical than I am. The basis for the psak is that the Rabbi gave an אמתלא. That has a specific halakhic meaning, namely that it is a plausible explanation for suspicious behavior. If it is not accepted as plausible, then it is not an אמתלא. However, you are suggesting, "Obviously the Tzemach Tzedek knew that he was a homosexual pedophile but he thought that he'd learn his lesson from the fear of getting caught again." In other words, you are accusing the Tzemach Tzedek of writing a deliberately misleading teshuva. And you are saying that he did not accept the אמתלא as valid, and that his judgment was based on his belief that the pedophile would be deterred from ever acting again.

    By the way, if you were correct about this (which I find completely implausible), that would raise another very serious problem. Pedophiles often do not stop after they are caught one time or nearly caught one time. The recidivism rate is extremely high. Even when pedophiles are in treatments that have some efficacy to them, separation from children is a major factor in their management. Assuming that someone will be scared from getting caught is a tragic mistake that has been made by countless yeshiva menahelim in our time, which has resulted in unnecessary abuse of further victims.

    In any case, your attempt to formulate this in a manner that leaves the Tzemach Tzedek in a position of perfect knowledge raises more questions than it answers.

    Again, the relevance to our times of this teshuva is truly fascinating.

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  37. The TT wrote teshuvos to Rabbonim all over Europe and EY in his time. We can safely assume that this parsha did not happen in Lubavitch or nearby. He was asked to pasken about the mat'z in a halachic way. L'aniyas daati, it was beyond the purview of this teshuvo to discuss the child protection point of view (removing him from children, chasing him out of town, etc).

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  38. I never assumed it was in Lubavitch because it says in the teshuva that the accused Rabbi functioned "like the Deputy of the Court (av beis din) in his city." so it doesn't sound like Lubavitch, which was ruled by the Tzemach Tzedek himself. But the fact you are saying that it was not in Lubavitch makes me wonder if your motivation is to make a "kiddush Lubavitch" rather than actually honestly consider the significance of this teshuva.

    I find it totally irrelevant whether this ma'aseh took place in Lubavitch, Liadi, Mezhubish, Warsaw, Riga, Berlin, Gur, Belz, Satmar, Navahrdok, Slobodka, Pressburg, Cairo, Salonika, Fez Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, or Vilna. Nearly identical as well as far worse incidents have taken place in our times in Bourogh Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Jerusalem, Kiryat Shmoneh, Bnei Brak, Chicago, Baltimore, and many other fine kehillos filled with ehrlich bnei Torah.

    The "protection point of view" is certainly not "beyond the purview of this teshuva" as you claim. It is central to the teshuva. The Tzemach Tzedek said the basis for his pesak was that this man gave a plausible explanation for his behavior, thus exonerating himself from suspicions of sexual depravity in the Tzemach Tzedek's judgment. The result is that this man would be allowed to continue functioning as Rav of a kehilla. It means that the Tzemach Tzedek made a judgment that children are not at risk in the future.

    Tzoorba above also disagrees with you. He felt that the Tzemach Tzedek "must have felt that the noise generated by the shaale and the fear of further discovery would keep this Rov in line." In other words he agrees with me that if the Tzemach Tzedek felt that children were at risk he would never have ruled that the Rav should keep his position.

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  39. nachum klafter said...

    I am saying that one of the reasons he was naive is that he was a normal. Not ordinary, but normal as in psychologically healthy with a high functioning, adaptive personality. Normal individuals frequently do not recognize sexual abuse because of unconconscious processes.

    Regardless of the accuracy of this assessment with regard to the Tzemach Tzedek (an area where I hesitate to tread), Dr. Klafter is raising a very important point here. It is extremely difficult for normal people to accept that other apparently normal people are actually engaging in behavior that is not just immoral but simply incomprehensible.

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  40. Dr. Klaftner's explanation that ordinary people will rationalize things such as this away, strikes me as extremely true. A personal story:

    First, a few background facts:
    1) It seems that at my yeshiva, if not at others, it is quite ordinary for boys to give each other back massages and the like without provocation.
    2) Sefaradim in particular seem to be especially warm in this regard.
    3) A particular friend of mine, the object of this story, learns at my yeshiva (#1), is Sefaradi (#2), AND is a professional back-massagist.

    So the two of us were out walking together one night, and sat down in a park. He started massaging my back, but nothing unusual about that. He started working his way down my back, and while no one else at the yeshiva had ever gone below the shoulders in my experience, I figured this was within reason, especially given he was a massage therapist and knew what he was doing. Eventually, he got down near the kidney area, and I was getting extremely anxious, but I kept telling myself this must be ordinary. I certainly did not want to speak up and turn out to be wrong, which would be extremely embarrassing, of course. It was not until he got down to my tuhus that I finally realized, there is NO rationalizing this. Indeed, when I confronted him, he admitted he is bisexual.

    The amazing thing to me in retrospect, is that I was so capable of rationalizing what he was doing. The whole time, I was extremely uncomfortable and anxious, but I kept rationalizing it as ordinary massage behavior.

    ESPECIALLY for the Tzemach Tzedek, who probably never read of a case of sexual molestation in the newspaper. For me, homosexuality and molestation and such are at least things I've read about; for the Tzemach Tzedek, even the mere concepts may have been completely foreign and inconceivable.

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  41. I think that there are a number of aspects regarding this teshuva that are simply not very clear (and that re being missed or only tangentialy brought up).

    Firstly, its not the derech of a childmolester to do something like this while he was in public. It just doesn't make sense that he did this in full view of everyone.

    Secondly, no mention is made of the relationship between the two of them. Were they close? was he the naar's teacher? was the kid just random? how big is the community?

    secondly, as others mentioned the fact that the naar was not asked his opinion is absolutely bizzare. DId he complain? if so why doesn't the teshuva state that? This would be a most grevious error which would render the entire teshuva suspect. I doubt the tzamach tzedek would have made it.

    Thirdly, this was on purim. As someone said, was alcohol involved? while alcohol does lessen inhibitions, I'm not so sure that it would cause him to do something like child molestation.

    Thirdy, as pointed out, this guy is childless. another point.

    My reading of this, after reading all the comments to help me think, is that this isn't so much of a non-consentual case as it is simply a case of a pedastric relationship between this rabbi and the teen, which was previously kept secret, and just like many couples find it harder to behave together under the influence of alcohol, so to did this guy have a long standing relationship with this kid.

    Because he felt like it was somehow ok (which I'm not sure that molesters do) they therefore got excited and started misbehaving durring purim, and under the influence of alcohol.

    Now, you could make a strong argument that this was a long standing case of abuse, but he would be subject to suspicious after this and the child would find it easier to escape from his clutches because I suspect that noone was completely sure that they believed this accusation.

    Additonaly, according to the law of the time, the child was considered and adult. (provided he was over maybe about 14, which he probably was.) so I'm not sure that you can term it proper molestation in that sense.

    and if he'd had a history then I suspect that it would have been mentioned that there were such rumors going about him (which there always are) and it would have been mentioned because it would have been relevant.

    so while I'm not 100% sure, I inclined to think that this was a mutual pedastric relationship, which, while repugnant to us, at the time was between two people probably capable of consent according to the law of the time.

    which of course would neatly explain why they could not ask the naar. The naar defered (without indication to the contrary) to rabbi who did this. Possibly was a willing participant.

    (which doesn't make that much of a difference, but it would make the context make a lot more sense. the relationship was not entirely secret anyway which would have made it more likely for this indiscretion to occur under the influence of alcohol.)

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  42. Nachum Klafter said;

    "In that case you are far more cynical than I am. The basis for the psak is that the Rabbi gave an אמתלא. That has a specific halakhic meaning, namely that it is a plausible explanation for suspicious behavior. If it is not accepted as plausible, then it is not an אמתלא. However, you are suggesting, "Obviously the Tzemach Tzedek knew that he was a homosexual pedophile but he thought that he'd learn his lesson from the fear of getting caught again." In other words, you are accusing the Tzemach Tzedek of writing a deliberately misleading teshuva. And you are saying that he did not accept the אמתלא as valid, and that his judgment was based on his belief that the pedophile would be deterred from ever acting again."

    An amasla is a technical device which allows for an alternate explanation of a set of events. It can be accepted if it is not totally impossible to be true.

    The teshuva says that this whole affair was based on a chashad. There does not seem to be any solid aidus for what happened. The Rav in question apparently admitted to it because he gave the amasla.

    The Tzemach Tzedek z"l was within his rights to allow for the use of the amasla. This does not necessarily mean that he believed it or felt that it was likely. Without this amasla and with the Rav's admission he would have had no choice but to remove him.

    The T-T felt that the situation was under control because the Rav knew that everyone was on to him and could lose his whole position if any slight violation occurred. The community was forewarned by the judgment.

    I find that Rabbonim are far more worldly wise than even most baalei batim. There was a case where a man was put into jail in Monsey for abusing his daughter and many in the community were trying to exert pressure to have him released.

    Rab Yaakov Kaminetzky z"l was consulted and he said "loz em zitzen" - Let him stay in jail.

    The rabbonim and poskim were never cloistered and were very aware of all forms of sexual deviancy and were aware of the dangers and the nature of their society in regards to adequate caution to prevent problems.

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  43. One still wonders where the notion that the Rav's behavior in the future could influence the Halacha of Talmid Chacham she'sarach arose.

    The pscychological assertions about the probability of recidivism have apparently no basis in Jewish literature.

    What many commentors fail to realize is that there is no justification for firing a Rav based on abstruse concepts of danger or the desire for the delivery of comeuppance.

    The Gemara and Poskim are in fact addressing cases of sexual misbehavior and yet there are strict rules dictating when this could lead to the dismissal of a Rav and when they can't.

    Furthermore, one's personal view on the veracity of an Amasla based on psychologial insight has no Halachic value. The mere fact that the metzi'us of this scenario is physically possible precludes rejection of the Amasla (especially considering that the Rav's excuse was essentially that he was overcome by curiosity, something which I personally believe is extremely plausible).

    Finally, one would think that the Tzemach Tzedek, the undisputed leader of the majority of Russian Jewry, someone who was very involved in askanus on all levels, one who was engaged in extensive correspondence with scores of Rabbanim of all backgrounds, the one who many chassidic Rabbanim had to answer and report to, would be capable of ably dealing with such an important issue.

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  44. "ESPECIALLY for the Tzemach Tzedek, who probably never read of a case of sexual molestation in the newspaper. For me, homosexuality and molestation and such are at least things I've read about; for the Tzemach Tzedek, even the mere concepts may have been completely foreign and inconceivable."

    It's simply absurd to suggest that the Tzemach Tzedek wasn't aware of the metzius of abuse, and the fact that some people are mishkav zochor inclined, and abusive. Halacha discusses mishkav zochor inclinations. It discusses the issur yichud. Yichud means that no man may be alone with a 3 yr old girl because he might be tempted to abuse her! Klafter is mistaken: Chazal and gedolei Yisroel were if anything far *ahead* of their time in their realistic assessment of these urges.

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  45. "The pscychological assertions about the probability of recidivism have apparently no basis in Jewish literature.

    What many commentors fail to realize is that there is no justification for firing a Rav based on abstruse concepts of danger or the desire for the delivery of comeuppance
    ".

    So, in your opinion a Rabbi teacher who is caught doing an action with suspicion of molesting a child should not be fired due to possible danger this individual poses to other children? and rely that he will not do repeat his actions bewcause the probabilityof recidivism do not appear in jewish literature?

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  46. So, in your opinion a Rabbi teacher who is caught doing an action with suspicion of molesting a child should not be fired due to possible danger this individual poses to other children? and rely that he will not do repeat his actions bewcause the probability of recidivism do not appear in jewish literature?

    a) if the concept of recidivism in sexual abuse isn't mentioned in the Torah (as the most probable outcome of a one-time event), than to fire or harass someone based on such reasoning is a violation of Torah.

    It is my opinion that those who follow the Torah should act as dictated by it.

    b) the Torah assumes the premise of the Amasla to be the reality, so we must assume that the Rav poses no danger and that he merely briefly expressed some curiosity (the same reason for the high number of views for certain entries on wikipedia, vedal).

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  47. I just posted an explanation that I received from a Chabad rav
    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/10/child-abuse-tzemach-tzedeka-chabad-view.html
    It asserts that the Tzemach Tzedek was poskening as a **Rebbe** who knew that the event was a temporary abberation resulting from Purim and that it would never happen again.

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  48. still here said...

    a) if the concept of recidivism in sexual abuse isn't mentioned in the Torah (as the most probable outcome of a one-time event), than to fire or harass someone based on such reasoning is a violation of Torah.

    It is my opinion that those who follow the Torah should act as dictated by it.

    b) the Torah assumes the premise of the Amasla to be the reality, so we must assume that the Rav poses no danger and that he merely briefly expressed some curiosity (the same reason for the high number of views for certain entries on wikipedia, vedal).
    ==================
    Your view of what halacha is - is incredibly naive and presumptuous - and ignorant. Before making such assertions - check with your local Orthodox posek. According to your logic since the Torah doesn't mention electricity or airplanes they are not covered by halacha?!
    An amasla must make sense. It is not a string of words which have no connection with reality. BTW where does the Torah say that someone's excuse is always accepted as reality?

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  49. I find your assertions are astounding.

    >According to your logic since the Torah doesn't mention electricity or airplanes they are not covered by halacha?!

    The comparison is preposterous. Dr. Klafter would have to admit that in fact recidivism existed and was the reality in the era of the Talmud and Rishonim, and yet the sages never provided a Halachic clause providing for the jurisdictions you and Dr. Klafter would like to imagine should exist.

    Planes and electric appliances didn't exist during the above-mentioned eras and therefore obviously weren't addressed.

    I wonder whether prolonged exposure to secular and non-Torah literature has dulled your senses; any religious Jew should be able to understand that only Chazal establish Klalim (אין אדם דר עם נחש בכפיפה אחת, אין אדם משים את עצמו רשע, וכהנה רבות), not Joe the blogger who has come to our salvation with the brand-new Klal of כל החוטא במעשה סדום ועמורה אינו זז משם עד שחוזר ושונה.

    Simply put, Chazal didn't believe that a Rav who succumbs to a cheese burger on one occasion can be assumed to be a serial Treif consumer; likewise, Chazal didn't assume that a Rav who fondles a child's crotch can be assumed to be a serial pedophile. And no one is in the position to state otherwise.

    >An amasla must make sense. It is not a string of words which have no connection with reality.

    Every human in the world has engaged in some sort of sexual exploration. It may be attempting certain acts, thinking certain thoughts, or reading certain material.

    In the overwhelming amount of cases there is no real recidivism; Bochurim don't read Maseches Nidah over and over again etc.

    And so if someone claims to have performed a certain act due to curiosity, there is no reason why we shouldn't consider his words to be true. I think this is fairly obvious.

    >BTW where does the Torah say that someone's excuse is always accepted as reality?

    If someone's excuse is reasonable by Torah's standards, then obviously we don't acquit him while assuming he is really guilty. We assume his alibi to be credible and truthful. That's the whole point.

    P.S. I'm still waiting for you to name the Halachic term under which you disagree with the TzTz; you have yet to name it (although it might be the all-powerfull geder of דעת בעה"ב).

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  50. still here said..
    P.S. I'm still waiting for you to name the Halachic term under which you disagree with the TzTz; you have yet to name it (although it might be the all-powerfull geder of דעת בעה"ב).
    ==========================
    You are incredibly dense and arrogant. An amasla has to make sense - That of the TT does not. Your analysis doesn't make sense either - though obviously since the TT was an adam godol we have an obligation to understand his words - the same is not true of yours.

    אנציקלופדיה תלמודית כרך ב, אמתלא [עמוד נב טור 1]

    אמתלא (או: מתלא). טעם וסיבה לדברים בלתי נכונים שנאמרו קודם, ופירוש "אמתלא": משל.

    אמתלא נאמרה בנוגע לבטל או לפרש: דיבור, מעשה, עדות וקול*. דנים באמתלא באיסור והיתר ובדיני ממונות.

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    Replies
    1. You missed the point.

      The weak Amaslo was accepted as a Snif to not fire the offendind Rov.

      Daas Balei Batim (see Sma) led you to misunderstand the Tshovo.

      Delete
  51. "a) if the concept of recidivism in sexual abuse isn't mentioned in the Torah (as the most probable outcome of a one-time event), than to fire or harass someone based on such reasoning is a violation of Torah".


    absurd and ludicrous! WE find in Torah and Halacha things like "suroh rah" that places the people who have done such practice to be in a category that they are suspected to do it and for purposes for them to be kosher leydut, they are passul even if soemtimes they revert lightly from what they did because "Suroy rah". Take a look in siman 34 CM and see for yourself! Al achas kamah to leave teachers and rabbis to deal to come in contact with youth who may be vulnerable to their perversions or maladies of course halacha and torah would place these people under suspicion and warrant their distance from their possible victims.

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  52. all those who said he should have checked in the mikvah, obviouslt have never been to a mikvah.

    without getting into the makeup of the male body, and the fact that in a mikvah you dont were glasses (if the rabbi even owned glasses!!), investigating someone elses betzim in not somthing that can been done in a mikvah.

    ReplyDelete

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