Does this Rabbi even have any credibility after his responsa about sexual abuse? (don't believe the victim, nor her mother, they cannot be Eidim, so the victim should shut up so that the perp can conserve his good name).
Rose, where is that tshuva?
I just reposted it yesterdayhttp://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/06/abuse-strict-din-according-to-torah_01.htmlas Reporting Abuse:Rav M. Klein's rejected view
Rabbis do not lose their credibility for publicizing unpopular halachic opinions. It rather show their integrity to the halacha over public appeal.Rabbis do lose their credibility when they pander to popular sentiment.
Binyamin Great comment!
"Rabbis do not lose their credibility for publicizing unpopular halachic opinions." This is not an impopular halachic opinion, this is a midat sdom. Furthermore, he says in this responsa that he personally shut up many victims. If this is true, I would classify him as a helper of criminals. He stood by the blood of the victims and did not help them (according to what he says himself).
We cannot debate halachic issues based on name-calling. The responsa about abuse was properly written with the reasoning clearly explained, even if it is wrong, and cannot be rejected by simply calling it midat sdom. He did not "shut up many victims" - there is no need to try to emotionally misrepresent the issue. He told them they may not involve the police, since that would, in his opinion, violate halachic principles. So I guess the question is this - if someone is harmed and has no halachic recourse, may they seek recompense through non-halachic means? I realize alot of people believe the answer is clearly less, though they leave us wondering why they adhere to halacha if it is such a faulty system.Any social institution must acknowledge that there are limits on the solutions it can provide. In a functional society there are many problems which cannot be solved, simply because the solutions are beyond the scope and capabilities of social institutions. The halacha clearly recognizes this. Recognizing that there are social problems which cannot be solved is not the system of Sodom. Quite the opposite, I would suggest. A substantive response would be welcome instead.
If we follow your ideas to their logical conclusion, there is no point what-so-ever to following Halacha Bein Adom L'Chaveiro. The purpose of these Halachos is so society can function in a just manner. If the Rabbanim refuse to enforce Halacha, the Halacha is pointless.
Hi writes in his responsa that if the victim can not prove (with two kosher Eidim, excludind women, minors, related persons, and, of course, the victim) that the abuse happened, it is not even allowed to talk about it, since this would be considered lashon hara.That's what I call shutting up victims.
He did not "shut up many victims" - there is no need to try to emotionally misrepresent the issue. He told them they may not involve the police, since that would, in his opinion, violate halachic principles. =============Interesting understanding - if the rabbis says that the police can not be involved he is the the only one to deal with the issue and yet he does nothing- that is shutting up the victims.Any social institution must acknowledge that there are limits on the solutions it can provide. In a functional society there are many problems which cannot be solved, simply because the solutions are beyond the scope and capabilities of social institutions. The halacha clearly recognizes this. Recognizing that there are social problems which cannot be solved is not the system of Sodom. Quite the opposite, I would suggest. =================This is addressed in many places. Look at the first two simonim in Choshen Mishpat. Simon one provides the paramters of action according to the Torah. Simon beis says a society can't function if it limited by what the Torah allows - thus the beis din or community does whatever it sees fit to survive.This is clearly connected with the issue of witnesses that the poskim allow testimony of posul witnesses simply because there are no kosher ones.Shulchan Aruch (C. M. 2:1): Every court – even those that do not have semicha from Israel – if they see that the see that the people is corrupted by sin (and thus it is an emergency situation) can issue judgments whether concerning capital punishment or financial matters or any other punishments even without testimony according to Torah standards. If the transgressor is a powerful person than it is possible to punish him through the agency of non-Jews. Furthermore the court has the power to appropriate his money and to do with it what they see fit to strengthen the community. All the activities of the court need to be for the sake of heaven. This license to go beyond the letter of the law is specifically only for the greatest rabbis of the generation or the community leaders. It has been the practice in every place that the community leaders have the status similar to that of the Sanhedrin in that they can give beatings and punishments as well as appropriate a person’s property – all according to the local practice. Even though there are those poskim which disagree and say that the local communities authorities do not have such powers but can only pressure the community according to the local practices or their actions need to be agreed upon by everyone. However according to these poskim they have no power to make any changes in law in situations where there is benefit to one party and loss to another or to appropriate someone’s money without his agreement. Nevertheless one should follow the practices of the city. And surely these powers exist in fact everyone member of the community accepts that the leaders have these powers. The achronim mention in their responsa that some who is deserving of lashes should give 40 gold coins as a substitute for the 40 lashes. This is not according to the letter of the law but is only an emergency measure. Therefore the court has the emergency power to administer lashes or to take money according to what they see are the needs of the times (migder milsa).
I felt that using the phrase "shutting up victims" was an emotional appeal, and has a connotation of forcing them to keep quite and trying to protect the molesters. A simpler description of what he said - "he even told molesters they may not go to the police" does not sound so bad, and just sounds like a difficult halachic decision, not complicity with molesters.As far as the limits of jurisprudence, I was not arguing the specific limitations or trying to defend his decision. I was saying that we must recognize that there are limits on who can be helped, and a part of human society is that there will be victims who cannot be helped. Recognizing this limitation is essential for a stable society, and cannot be called midat sdom. This is true even after acknowledging that we cannot respect a full adherence to the strict demands of halacha - we still have to realize that there are problems we cannot solve.
<< As far as the limits of jurisprudence, I was not arguing the specific limitations or trying to defend his decision. I was saying that we must recognize that there are limits on who can be helped, and a part of human society is that there will be victims who cannot be helped. Recognizing this limitation is essential for a stable society, and cannot be called midat sdom. This is true even after acknowledging that we cannot respect a full adherence to the strict demands of halacha - we still have to realize that there are problems we cannot solve. >>This is a scary proposition. I agree that historical abuse is hard to correct, but you seem to be implying that Halacha has no way to correct ongoing abuse (in some situations). This is a corruption of Torah!
תניא א"ר שמעון בן שטח אראה בנחמה אם לא ראיתי אחד שרץ אחר חבירו לחורבה ורצתי אחריו וראיתי סייף בידו ודמו מטפטף והרוג מפרפר ואמרתי לו רשע מי הרגו לזה או אני או אתה אבל מה אעשה שאין דמך מסור בידי שהרי אמרה תורה על פי שנים עדים יומת המת Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach said, I saw someone who ran after another, and chased him into an abandoned building. I ran in after him, and he was holding a sword dripping with blood and the the other man was dying on the floor. I said to him - Who killed this man - it is ony you and I here - but what can I do, your judgement is not in my hands, as it says, "by the testimony of two witnesses the condemned will be killed."Sanhedrin 37b http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=24&daf=37b&format=textהַנִּסְתָּרֹת--לַיהוָה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ; וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ, עַד-עוֹלָם--לַעֲשׂוֹת, אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת"The hidden things are for God to deal with, and the known issues are for us and our children to do, according to all the words of this Torah."Deuteronomy 29:28
If you do not see the difference between capital punishment of a crime already committed, but not witnessed, and the prevention of ongoing crimes, there is nothing more to debate.You seem to be under the misapprehension that because we require two witnesses in capital cases that crimes of molestation are somehow "hidden" if we don't have witnesses.Also, you are taking that out of context. Given that we say it on Yom Kippur, as part of Vidui, the meaning is plainly that sins which we do not know (or remember) that we committed are known before Hashem. It is not talking about taking action against molesters and abusers based on the testimony of singular witnesses.(Obviously not only sins are known before Hashem, but I am taking it in context.)
I assume you - like Rav Klein are not aware of this?Maharam Shick (C.M. 50): [In the case of someone’s brother who had died suddenly and his sister in law is suspected of poisoning her husband. Based on Bava Metzia (83b) regarding R’ Eliezer catching Jewish robbers for the Roman the halacha would allow reporting her to the police.]. While that is the halacha, nevertheless that gemora itself indicates that it is inappropriate for gedolim to be the ones to report the transgressor to the secular authorities. This is also the view of the Rashba cited by the Beis Yosef (C.M. 388). An even greater proof against reporting transgressors to secular authorities – even when there is a possible danger in not reporting – is found in the Rambam. The Rambam (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 5:5) writes that if non Jews specify which Jew they want and they will kill all the Jews if he isn’t handed over – they should give him over. However the Rambam notes that if that wanted Jew deserves the death penalty he can be given over to save the others – but this halacha is not to be publicized. This is also the view of the Yerushalmi (Terumos 8:4)…. Consequently while one should not protest against those who follow the straight halacha and report the criminal to the authorities - which has many poskim to rely on - nevertheless the gedolim should not get involved in reporting these crimes but rather should be passive. This is as we saw with Shimon ben Shetach who did not have proper evidence that someone was a murderer - even though it was obvious – and therefore he did nothing. Also look at Sheilas Yaavetz (2:9)…or thisSho’el U’Meishiv (1:185): Rumors spread about a certain teacher who had lived in that city for 8 years. Children that he had taught while they were young and now were 13 years or more older testified that he had sodomized them when they were younger. The previous summer a certain G d fearing man found out about this and was outraged and informed the rav of the community. However the rav did not want to accept this testimony… However the Maharik and the Terumas HaDeshen wrote and the Rema rules in Shulchan Aruch that in a situation where kosher witness are not necessary - then even a woman or child is believed. If so, in this matter it is definitely impossible for there to be adult males and it is impossible for there to be testimony in the matter. That is because without a doubt this man – even if he is wicked and dissolute – keeps his deeds secret and he only amuses himself with small children and claims he is only playing with them. Therefore it is obvious that they should be believed. However we are not trying to disqualify him from being a witness or making an oath but we only want to be able to say whether he perhaps did this. Our Sages said in Nida (61) that while it is prohibited to believe lashon harah, the concern aroused by it is required. And in Mo’ed Koton (18) they said that regarding bad talk – at least some of it is true. Therefore woe is to us that in our days such a thing happened that a man like this should be a teacher of children who are pure creatures and there is concern that he violated them. Therefore in my opinion it is appropriate to remove the crown of teacher from his head. They need to be concerned for their souls until he completely repents with appropriate afflictions and only then can he considered a full member of the community and it will be an atonement for his sins. Furthermore as long as he hasn’t confessed his sins then repentance is not possible as the Tevu’os Shor wrote in siman 2…. But in this case where there is testimony – even though it is not from kosher witnesses it is worth more than rumors and it is obvious he should be prevented from getting students to teach.
or thisשולחן ערוך חושן משפט הלכות עדות סימן לה סעיף יד אשה, פסולה. וטומטום ואנדרוגינוס, פסולים מספק. וכל מי שהוא ספק כשר ספק פסול, הרי הוא פסול. הגה: וכל אלו הפסולים, פסולים אפילו במקום דלא שכיחא אנשים כשרים להעיד (הרשב"א בתשובה והרמב"ם בפ"ח מה' נזקי ממון וכ"כ הב"י), וכל זה מדינא, אבל י"א דתקנת קדמונים הוא דבמקום שאין אנשים רגילים להיות, כגון בב"ה של נשים או בשאר דבר אקראי שאשה רגילה ולא אנשים, כגון לומר שבגדים אלו לבשה אשה פלונית והן שלה, ואין רגילים אנשים לדקדק בזה, נשים נאמנות (ת"ה סי' שנ"ג ואגודה פ' י' יוחסין). ולכן יש מי שכתב דאפילו אשה יחידה, או קרוב או קטן, נאמנים בענין הכאה ובזיון ת"ח או שאר קטטות ומסירות, לפי שאין דרך להזמין עדים כשרים לזה, ואין פנאי להזמין (מהרי"ק שורש קע"ט ומהר"ם מריזבורג וכלבו סי' קט"ז). והוא שהתובע טוען ברי (מהרי"ק שורש כ"ג /צ"ג/) (וע"ל סכ"ח סט"ו בהג"ה).
I assume that in saying that Rav Klein was "unaware" of those sources you are giving him the benefit of the doubt. I fail to see how someone who is considered a Gadol B'Yisrael can be unaware of sources that are a mainstay for those who learn Dayyanut.Rather it seems to me that he was indeed aware of them, just as he was aware of the Teshuvot by Rav Auerbach, Rav Eliashiv and others that he simply rejected. It did not accord with his point of view, so he made no mention of it. Not every posek brings the sources that disagree with his position.
I should have said unaware with quotes. Obviously he was aware - as anyone who is familiar with his seforim would know - he had a tremendous range of knowledge. The problem he had - according rabbanim I talked with - was basically with seichel or daas. One prominent posek I knew would not allow his seforim in his beis medrash. The question is why he did not see abuse as a serious problem and thus utilize the type of sources I cited - while others such as Rav Eliashiv clearly did.
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