Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rav Sternbuch - Psak to Report Molester

14 comments :

  1. But only with permission of a Rav Muvhak. In other words, don't report it.

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    1. Am I Missing Something?July 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      The traditional definition of Rav Muvhak is clearly not the intention here, i.e., the Rav that one has established from whom one derives all learning and guidance. It is obvious (to me) from the context that the concept of Muvhak here is reference to expertise. Also, the psak does not speak of this Rav Muvhak's approval as a needed criterion, but rather that this strengthens the case for reporting, that a Rav has verified the seriousness of the accusation.

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    2. No he wasn't saying don't report it. In fact I recently had a long talk with him regarding various issues I am working on - and he reiterated that I should continue working forcefully on the child abuse issue.

      He has said that abuse should be reported and the children protected - even if it causes chillul hashem and even if it causes financial burden for the yeshivas.

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    3. Has the Rav written this anywhere, or is it your hearesay?

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  2. Three conditions are mentioned that I doubt rabbi Eidensohn would appreciate:

    1) Witnesses heard an admission from the alleged molester.
    2) An "outstanding" (definition of מובהק) Rav vetted the accusations and found that they are serious.
    3) The accusation is about חמור שבחמורות - doesn't sound like any touch (as repulsive as it is) would qualify.

    In other words: DO NOT report to a "mental health" professional that fails to use due diligence in winnowing truth from fiction or that defines abuse creatively.

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    1. Why would Rabbi Eidensohn not appreciate those very reasonable and wise conditions? I'm sure he does appreciate them.

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    2. Rav Sternbuch is not say that only if these conditions exist can you report

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    3. How do you derive that he doesn't say so?

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  3. Ask him. Especially #2 and #3.

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    1. I have discussed the issue with him. On one occasion I told him that there were reports of a molester in Har Nof and he told me to call the police.

      He told me that a rav should be asked - if the delay doesn't endanger anyone - in order that the world not be hefker

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  4. I find it rather amusing that some of you trolls think that I mistakenly posted this letter without knowing the content.

    I in fact typed up the Hebrew - (made a mistake in the date) which I added to his letter.

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  5. R' Eidenson,

    I'm assuming that you recognize that an issue involving dinei nefashos for the klal could (and should not) be decided by one Rav [even if he is a very learned elder Rav]? In addition a psak signed by a wide group of gedolei torah from around the world would have to be detailed and clear [written and agreed upon by the gedolei torah themselves], not a short hand-written paragraph- do you recognize this?

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    1. Am I Missing SomethingJuly 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      While I do not claim to be qualified to speak on Rav Eidenson's behalf, I can make a statement to his defense. This letter is not a tshuvah from a posek about the general issue. It is a response to shailoh on a specific case, and it is being presented here for our perusal and the lessons we might glean from it. Our community is stuck in the mire of forces that oppose each other quite strongly, gripping the extremes of the range between claiming that reports to authorities are mesirah versus those who deny the relevance of mesirah completely. These debates are vocal, at high decibel level, and quite passionate. In our thirst, we must look for guidance in the examples of our gedolim. It is suggested that our gedolim obtain the pertinent scientific information and formulate the guidelines that can serve as protocol for the Klal. This letter from Rav Sternbuch would certainly contribute handsomely to the discussion and process. But it is not the psak for Klal, yet. I hardly believe that Rav Eidenson is unaware of this distinction.

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