Monday, August 22, 2011

An abuse survivor's change of heart regarding the Rabbis

I reached a point that I cannot sit idly by and watch how the Jewish people are being stepped on, day in and day out, by none other than people who call themselves Orthodox Jews. The chillul Hashem (Desecration of G-d’s Name) that is being created is beyond words. The kind of garbage that is being thrown on our gedolim (leading Rabbis) and holy organizations has not happened since the days of the pogroms and it’s all coming from within. It hurts me to write this to the very same people I once believed were protectors of abuse victims in the Jewish community. It hurts me even more to write to the very same people I once called very dear friends and believed were helping my brothers and sisters in pain.

What is important is the truth coming from my broken heart.

I am Pinny Taub, who is a survivor of one of the most horrific crimes that has happened to a Jew by a Jew. My story is known and is not important to repeat at this time. Despite all that, I decided that I would not be a victim anymore and I would survive. Ever since I made this decision I have taken on a new role, by helping other victims and by educating those who don’t understand. I have spoken publicly, have done interviews, and have met with rabbonim (Rabbis), gedolim, leaders, policy-makers, law enforcement officials, and private citizens. While it was very painful for me to see how people have a hard time understanding this subject, I learned that I have a lot to understand about other people, as well. I have realized that change does not come overnight, but change will come when you present the truth and nothing but the truth. When I began reaching out to the leaders and our rabbonim, it was done with a great deal of anger and resentment. What I’ve learned by reaching out to them with respect is that they really do understand and do share the pain of those who were victimized, and show anger towards the criminals who destroyed so many precious lives. All of them want change in how we treat victims, deal with perpetrators, and implement prevention. Yes, there are major differences of opinion on certain subjects. There is no subject on the face of the earth on which all participating parties are of the same opinion, especially something as complicated as abuse, which involves understanding the long-term effects on a victim, legal issues, and halacha.


  1. Well said, Pinny. Thank You!

  2. I am not sure why you published this. Did you read the entire article? It seems to contradict everything you are fighting for. It is Agudah apologetics at its worst.

  3. I published it because it is news when a survivor who has courageously told his story - he contributed a chapter to my book - suddenly turns and uncritically defends those attitude and action contributed to his problem.

    This problematic piece is similar to the praise Bracha Goetz wrote recently regarding the Aguda.

    The question is why he is suddenly dumping all critics of the Aguda together - which would include me as well as many others he has worked with in his advocacy work.

  4. Sometimes it really does seem that evil people have the satan in their back pocket!

  5. You sometimes see a radical about face in politics. Republicans like David Brock suddenly become flaming Liberals which is why they will be mocked in perpetuity by the Wall Street Journal. But after being traumatized by a molester, who knows what it could have done to to the poor soul's mind. The poskim don't equate molestion with retzicha for nothing.

  6. I posted the following on the Cross-Currents site in response to Pinny Taub's essay.
    As Shanks has cogently presented, Pinny does not seem to understand the Aguda's position. It is also strange that Pinny is tarring all those who are criticizing the Aguda in very unflattering terms and attributing base motivation to all of them. As one of Pinny's admirers for his courage in speaking out against the inaction and coverups of the establishment, I am truly saddened that he has taken the extreme and unhelpful position in the present essay.

    As one of the the Aguda's critics - on my blog Daas Torah - I assume he intends to include me in the group of those he is denouncing. As someone who has published several seforim dealing with the topic [Child & Domestic Abuse in 3 volumes]-including one which Pinny Taub contributed a chapter - I strongly urge him to reconsider his defamation of all critics. This issue needs rational discourse - not automatic slander of those who disagree with a particular rabbinic organization.

  7. Gee, DT. How, then, do you explain your own slander of the Agudah?

  8. Piny Taub responds to criticism of his article.

    RE: Rabbi Eidensohn

    I really have a lot of respect for you. I did not include you in my letter and I did not include most activists. I specifically wrote hate-filled. I agree that whatever has changed for the better came because of the constructive criticism and you deserve a great deal of credit for that. Regarding your book I have no regret that I added my story. If my story helped only one person become more aware, then I thank you for giving me this opportunity.

    Read more:
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  9. I posted the following response to Pinny Taub's clarification on Cross-Currents.
    Pinny I appreciate your clarification and agree with the points that you are now making. I hope you realize that what you had published in Ami Magazine/Cross-Currents created a strong impression that you were attacking all critics - in the same way that the Aguda i.e., Rabbi Shafran has done. It would have been helpful if you had given this essay to one of your associates for review and comment before you allowed it to be published. It looks like you were used by Ami magazine as a club to attack critics. Your friends were shocked by what you said. Ami Magazine and the Aguda have a clear pattern of overblown attacks on critics and you should have been more cautious.

  10. Future comments should be published on the more recent posting of the video's of Pinny Taub's presentation of his view


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