Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz: Update - Re: Weberman Trial

 The following is from a private mailing of Rabbi Yakov Horowitz that he gave me permission to post.

December 24, 2012

With Nechemya Weberman convicted and awaiting sentencing, here are some reflections upon the trial and why Project YES supported his victim in a very public manner.

We got involved in the spring when it became clear that a young victim still within the statute of limitations was actually committed to pressing charges and testifying against her molester. In the process of doing due diligence, I personally heard from four additional victims of Weberman, all of whom were terrified to come forward and press charges because of community intimidation. They didn't know each other, but they all told the same stories, described similar forms of physical abuse - some of which became public knowledge during the trial.

Just one horrific example: Those of us close to the case heard from the victims that Weberman was burning many of them on their abdomens with cigarette lighters and candles as part of his warped fantasies. However, this was only discussed at a side bar during his trial and did not become public knowledge until this New York Post Article ran a few days after the verdict.

Two chassidish men, both in their thirties and well integrated into the community told me that Weberman burned their wives on their abdomens while violating them. One of the fellows said that he first discovered the abuse when his wife screamed and nearly fainted when he inadvertently passed a (havdala) candle close to her midsection. It was only then, that she told him the story of what she had gone through in her "counseling sessions" with Weberman.    

Weberman's other victims revealed details that matched those of the plaintiff in this case, which in the aggregate indicated that he was conducting an evil, calculated, and highly successful Grooming Process. This included humiliating his victims, and telling them that no one will ever believe messed-up kids like them. He deliberately turned the parents against their children, telling them, among other things, that their son or daughter was a pathological liar, in order to have his defense in place should the kids ever reveal his abuse.   
  
Weberman even told some of the girls he was abusing that (hold your stomach) they were reincarnated separately, but they had been married to him in a previous gilgul (lifetime), and that the intimate acts he was performing were intended as a form of te'shuva (repentance) for sins committed in their previous lifetimes. Keep in mind that many of his victims were innocent, pre-teen girls who were raised in a very sheltered environment, and that Weberman was presented to them by their school as a distinguished rabbi - lending credence to whatever story he spun to them.

Weberman carefully selected his victims from a pool of families who had marital issues or an elder child who was on drugs or no longer observant, correctly assuming that those parents would lack the self-confidence to do battle with him should they suspect anything wrong.

He was also very cautious not to abuse the children of well-connected families. None of his victims who have come to our attention are very wealthy or named Teitelbaum or Twersky (dynastic rabbinic families) - only from what Leona Helmsley famously called the "little people."
  
Once it became clear that Weberman appeared to be a serial pedophile, we recognized that this was a unique opportunity to break the wall of silence about abuse in the Charedi world. The "Establishment" responded to the accusations by holding a huge fundraiser  to raise a half million dollars for Weberman's defense.

Shortly thereafter, we were notified from those close to the case that the victim's family was under unbearable pressure from the community after the fundraiser. The DA was concerned that she would do what so many others before her had done - buckle under to the pressure and refuse to testify. Indeed, four men were subsequently arrested for attempting to bribe the victim to the tune of $500,000 to drop the charges.

Keep in mind that this brave young victim, not yet eighteen, had been repeatedly molested by Weberman from the young age of twelve until she was fifteen. (For all those asking what defense attorney Mr. Farkas kept raising during the trial - why didn't she come forward earlier - take a careful look at the size and maturity level of the precious 12-year-old kinderlach in your neighborhood. That ought to answer your question.) Knowing she would need help, we went public and urged our readers to Stand With the Victim and offer her emotional support in a post on our website two weeks after the fundraiser (May 30, 2012). We asked our readers to post comments of encouragement and to contact the Brooklyn DA requesting police protection for her family as needed.

Sadly, in the Williamsburg community there seemed to be almost universal support for Weberman (which is not at all unusual in child abuse cases - the abusers frequently get away with it for so long since they are otherwise well-respected, upstanding, charismatic members of the community) flinging slings and arrows at the victim attempting to ruin her reputation and totally undermine her credibility.

We then decided to embark on a campaign to educate the public about Weberman's wildly inappropriate methods of counseling the young girls in his care with this post What Went Terribly Wrong. We pointedly highlighted his flagrant violations of Hilchos Yichud (if these young girls had been in a locked apartment containing a bedroom with an "outsider" for counseling  sessions for four hours a day, three times a week instead of with Rabbi Weberman, the community would have been in an uproar). Hearing about his eleven hour car trip alone with her to the Catskills caused many to rethink their position on what was really going on.

In the lead-up to and during the trial, we posted Clear and Present Danger explaining the halachic reasons that predators need to be reported to the police, and The Halo Effect explaining how predators get away with their abuse.

Most people simply do not want to know about child abuse, as the entire subject makes them feel ill. Therefore, if just makes it harder to educate parents about abuse overall and how the grooming process works (here is a fantastic piece by Malcom Gladwell, In Plain View on grooming. A must read for parents.) Additionally, the cultural norms that have not allowed the Charedi press to cover the Weberman trial just adds to the disconnect and Cognitive Dissonance which is causing such harm to our kids.

Weberman's supporters are running a $1,000,000 campaign for his appeal, and they are going all out in a public relations effort, including this past week's Ami magazine where George Farkas, Weberman's attorney, graced the front cover and asserted Weberman's innocence.   

It is heartening that many of Weberman's other victims are now finding their voices - albeit only whispering to friends and family members. But the deadly wall of silence is showing growing cracks. Mr. Heinz, the Brooklyn DA went on record in several interviews  that there is "at least one more victim," (who has come forward but is afraid to testify), and his ADA's have previously stated that they are in conversations with six of Weberman's victims.   

In the charedi community, respected people are stepping forward. Ezra Friedlander, just released a column where he mentions a second Weberman victim and we will probably hear much more of this in the near future. There are simply too many survivors of his to keep this quiet forever. If or when they decide to go to the DA, the press, or to join in a class action law suit, the lid will probably come completely off.

Weberman is a monster who had incredible access to young girls and boys and married women for many, many years. What is so frightening is that those who are coming forward now are the married women, as the single girls are afraid of ruining their shidduch prospects. We shudder to think of how many single victims of his are out there continuing to suffer in silence.

Research shows that the average pedophile molests 50-200 children in his lifetime. With the level of access that Weberman had, and the naiveté' of the kids he worked with, ... may Hashem have mercy.     

The ongoing publicity proclaiming Weberman an innocent man is a dagger in the already broken hearts of his survivors. According to firsthand reports I received from professional therapists, even those survivors of Weberman's abuse who are grown and married are traumatized by these fundraisers to the extent that they are exhibiting signs of PTSD. It is for this reason alone that I feel it is a matter of pikuach nefesh (a matter of life and death) to give voice to his voiceless victims and publicize the true story of what transpired.

Standing with the victim and speaking truth to power the way we did was not a pleasant task, nor is it one that is risk-free, but we are determined to see this through.

My family spent this past Rosh Hashana with 200 Jewish recovering drug and alcohol addicts - the vast majority of whom ended up that way after being molested in their formative years. After listening to their horror stories and seeing the hell each and every one of them is undergoing, I promised myself that during the coming year I will redouble my efforts and do whatever it takes to keep today's kids safe. 

May it be Hashem's will that we finally succeed.

Best and warmest regards,

Yankie

82 comments:

  1. Thank you Rabbi Horowitz. May your efforts be blessed with overwhelming success!

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  2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 26, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    "Weberman even told some of the girls he was abusing that (hold your stomach) they were reincarnated separately, but they had been married to him in a previous gilgul (lifetime), and that the intimate acts he was performing were intended as a form of te'shuva (repentance) for sins committed in their previous lifetimes."

    More evidence that Weberman is part of the Shabtai Tzvi sex cult that abrogated the sexual prohibitions of the Torah, making "the forbidden into the permitted"! Weberman probably also pervertedly deludes himself he is even bringing the "messianic redemption" with his sexually bizarre and sadistic practices!

    The Vilna Gaon was right that he put Chasidim into Cherem on suspicion of being a continuation of the Sabbatean heresy that had almost wrecked Klal Yisroel with fake piety covering up mass depravity.

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    1. Oh, c'mon. One sick individual who happens to be Satmar and you are ready to conclude Chassidim are a Sabbatean cult?

      Nonsense.

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    2. Do your research: Satmar does not have roots with the Chasidim that the Gaon had an issue with

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    3. That doesn't interest anti-semites like rap. Of course their ilk claim they "only" hate "some" Jews. David Duke claims the same.

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    4. NO, RAP is not an anti-semite. I have on occasion disagreed with some of his arguments, but he is quite correct on this and many other points.
      SZ cult was nothing special, and you don't need to have the right yichus to be part of their cult.
      Once somebody perverts all of the Torah, and abuses issues such as Gilgul for their own perverse lusts, that is SZvi cult.
      Perhaps we should not forget how Saadia Gaon rubbished the entire Gilgul concept. Perhaps he knew that once this Hindu/Buddhist idea becomes mainstream, it will be abused, and lead to mischief.

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    5. In case you haven't noticed, Rabbi Horowitz is Chassidish too.

      Now what?!

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    6. Recipients and PublicityDecember 27, 2012 at 2:29 AM

      Sorry to burst your bubble boys, but the core of Sabbatean ideology, like the core of major aspects of Chasidic ideology is based on Zoharic and Kabbalistic sexual symbols, themes, subjects, allusions, metaphors and parallels.

      For many this creates a bridge to delusional and dangerous MAGICAL THINKING that in a twisted way they IMAGINE allows and justifies them to do sexual acts that would normally be forbidden in practical normative Judaism, with "justifications" as to why "sex is beautiful" in all settings.

      These are doctrines that sex cults and some religions, like Mormonism actually practice/d. Shabtai Tzvi (1626-1676) created a massive modern-day sexual cult within Judaism which is why they were expelled by the leading rabbis. In fact, the Dönmeh cult of Sabbateans continued the "holiest custom" of Shabtai Tzvi that on his birthday they men and women, husbands and wives, have a huge feast and in the middle the lights go out and they switch spouses and any illegitimate children of those forbidden sexual unions are considered "holy". This was Shabtai Tzvi's idea of the "Torah of 'moshiach' (himself)" and it's all about giving license to perverted sexual acts in the name of so-called "godliness" r"l nay as the highest expression of such "godliness" r"l -- and if anything, dudes like Tropper, Weberman and Halpern, and many other rabbinic perverts have studies in this type of "'yeshiva' of perverted sex" r"l judging by their rationalizations and practices!

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    7. Recipients and PublicityDecember 27, 2012 at 2:29 AM

      Did you know that like the Satmar's Weberman, Joseph Smith, Jr (1805-1844) the founder of Mormonism practiced a doctrine of "polygamy" that included "marriage" to women who were still married to other men who were called "plural wives": [From Wikipedia: "Joseph Smith: Polygamy:...Smith had engaged in a relationship with his serving girl Fanny Alger. Smith never denied a relationship, but insisted it was not adulterous, presumably because he had taken Alger as a plural wife. In April 1841, Smith wed Louisa Beaman, and during the next two and a half years he may have married or been sealed to 30 additional women, ten of them already married to other men, though this was generally done with the knowledge and consent of their husbands. Ten of Smith's wives were under the age of twenty, while others were widows over fifty. The practice of plural marriage was kept a secret. Polygamy (or plural marriage) caused a breach between Smith and his first wife, Emma. Although Emma knew of some of her husband's marriages, she almost certainly did not know the extent of his polygamous activities. In 1843, Emma temporarily accepted Smith's marriage to four women boarded in the Smith household, but she soon regretted her decision and demanded that the other wives leave. In July, Smith dictated a revelation pressuring Emma to accept plural marriage, but the two were not reconciled until September, after Emma began participating in temple ordinances and received an "endowment"..."

      This same mentality of coming up with bizarre rationalizations for indulging one's lusts and titillating the senses by having access to multiple females (and sometimes males) at one's disposal (like the Muslim's "harems") crops up among the most "religious" Jews, Christians and Muslims, and it always comes with overlays of ideologies of "love" and rationalizations for sex that normative Judaism, Christianity and Islam forbid.

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    8. RaP wrote:
      More evidence that Weberman is part of the Shabtai Tzvi sex cult that abrogated the sexual prohibitions of the Torah, making "the forbidden into the permitted"! Weberman probably also pervertedly deludes himself he is even bringing the "messianic redemption" with his sexually bizarre and sadistic practices!

      =============
      this is absurd. It is just as logical to say that all pedophiles and perverts are part of a messianic sex cult. There is absolutely no evidence for such an assertion. Your entire justification for your assertion is that he violated halachic norms and is not upset about it. But this is typical for pedophiles and therefore there is absolutely no need to add the specter of Shabtzai Tzvi. This is not a crime of ideology but of lust.

      I really don't know why you brought this up. It would certainly makes all the child advocates look ridiculous if this "theory" became widespread. Imagine a New York Times headline - "Orthodox Jewish pedophilia is tied to ancient kabbalistic religious doctrine" This would certainly feed anti-Semietic fantasies. In fact this is basically the same thing that Vicki Pollin did with her baby eating revelations on the Oprah show. You are transforming sick digusting behavior - into religious observance!

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    9. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

      1 of 2 of "Daas Torah said...this is absurd."

      RaP: You underestimate the dark side the intensive Chasidic lifestyle. You have much to learn. Did you know that the late Shlomo Carlebach (SC) the singer had a "whole Torah" that justified why he was allowed to kiss and hug and even do more with women, ("warming up cold neshomas") that he taught his disciples, and Leib Tropper is one of them. SC had "gantze Toiras" and rationalizations based on Zohar and Kabbala that gave him the "heter" to smooch women and much worse. And Shabtai Tzvis was worse, he made himself the literal "moshiach" of this by abrogating the mitzvos, and "permitting the forbidden" -- a precursor to the modern age of "free love" and "open sex" and Chasidism inherited much of this, of course it brought it in check, but if you read up on the history, both the early Reform movement in Western Europe and the early Chasidic movement in Eastern Europe were able to come into full force because of the secret hidden Sabbatean societies that were driven underground but still abounded.

      "It is just as logical to say that all pedophiles and perverts are part of a messianic sex cult."

      RaP: You are too focused on psychological and man-as-a-machine ideas of human existence and you underestimate the life of mystics, which is what Chasidism is, and when it goes awry, it quite often has links, both conscious and unconscious, to the Sabbateans, which is logical because Chasidism is the continuation of Sabbateanism with a much more "kosher" face.

      "There is absolutely no evidence for such an assertion."

      RaP: What evidence are you looking for? A survey of the perversion of mystical life?

      "Your entire justification for your assertion is that he violated halachic norms and is not upset about it."

      RaP: Not at all, on the contrary, as has been reported by Weberman's female victims he thoroughly convinced/hypnotized them that they were somehow his "wives" from a previous incarnation and NOT unlike "rabbi" Elior Chen (and you can't make this stuff up!): "Elior Chen sentenced to 24 years in prison for abuse Cult leader and 4 followers convicted of abusing children after they beat them with hammers and rods, forced them to eat feces...The abuse took place between late 2007 and early 2008, after Chen convinced the ex-wife of a followers to move into his Betar Illit home. Chen, 27, “married” the woman, though he was already married with children. He encouraged his followers, David Kugman, Avraham Maskalchi and Shimon Gabi, all in their early 20s, to provide “corrections” and “education” for the children, a vicious regimen of abuse that Chen, a self-proclaimed rabbi, demonstrated and oversaw...“The accused oversaw a regime of terror and threats over the children, which included brutal violence, humiliation, and degradation,” Judge Yoram Noam wrote in his 29-page sentencing decision. “We are talking about cruel attacks and abuse that are appalling and shocking, that the accused enacted against the children together with his disciples, over a number of months.”..."

      So these type of crazies, shtreimels, spodiks and all, corrupt kabbalistic notions for their own perverted lusts and in this way they follow in the footsteps of Shabtai Tzvi, openly or implicitly.

      "But this is typical for pedophiles"

      RaP: Ah, but these are CHASIDIC pedophiles and are of an entirely different breed with minds that are steaming with the sexual allegory of the Kabbala they must all learn as part of "chasidus" -- while most Chasidim do NOT act on the stuff they learn, there is a twisted fairly large minority that are "menuvalim birshus Toras hachasidus", to coin a term.

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    10. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

      2 of 2 of "Daas Torah said...this is absurd."

      "and therefore there is absolutely no need to add the specter of Shabtzai Tzvi."

      RaP: Why not? Otherwise you will never get to "cure" the perverts among the Chasidim if you never take hold of what truly tickles their muse/s and ignites their (sexual) delusions!

      "This is not a crime of ideology but of lust."

      RaP: Lust is a small part of it, quite often lost in the shuffle of the larger problem of the heavily Zoharic and Kabbalistic MAGICAL THINKING they are immersed in.

      "I really don't know why you brought this up."

      RaP: Because it is an aspect of Chasidism gone wrong, the manifestation of the "dark side" (the Freudian "Id" of Chasidism if you will). So that when Nuchem Rosensberg states that one in five Chasidic children is sexually abused it means that using that kind of percentage, 20% of the Chasidic population is sexually corrupted as a result and that is not just about lust, there is an entire "ideology" of sexual perversion that goes with it. And in that way it is a direct line to Shabati Tzvi who abrogated the sexual mores of the Torah with the paradoxical (to you it would be "absurd") claim that he was doing God's will r"l, "permitting the forbidden" r"l.

      "It would certainly makes all the child advocates look ridiculous if this "theory" became widespread. Imagine a New York Times headline - "Orthodox Jewish pedophilia is tied to ancient kabbalistic religious doctrine"

      RaP: Oh, don't be silly. First of all the NY Times already thinks that all Charedi and Chasidic Jews are looney. And it's not just about pedophilia, there is widespread wife-swapping, cheating on spouses, sex with gentiles, incest, homosexuality, the works, it's a sex scene run amok.

      "This would certainly feed anti-Semietic fantasies."

      RaP: Nonsense. They don't need excuses. They will find any reason to attack Jews. Even if you are the most wholesome perfectly moral Jew, the antisemites will hate you no matter what you are and what you do.

      "In fact this is basically the same thing that Vicki Pollin did with her baby eating revelations on the Oprah show."

      RaP: Here we go with VP, what does she have to do with this? She was talking about her own delusions. I am not! It is what Shabtai Tzvi, Elior Chen, Nechemya Weberman, Shlomo Carlebach, Leib Tropper, and many others like them have actually done. They also don't come in a vacuum, and they definitely have "gantze Toiras" that they delude themselves to believe is rooted in some sort of irrational mystical source. They say so themselves!

      "You are transforming sick digusting behavior - into religious observance!"

      RaP: I am not doing it, they are doing it all by themseleves! Nechemya Weberman is doing it when he tells his female victims that they are his "wives" from previous incarnations. He got that from somewhere not just his lusts, HE used twisted mystical ideology. Elior Chen did it when he tortured babies and committed adultery and went to jail for that. He got that from somewhere not just his lusts, HE used a sicko mystical ideology. Shlomo Carlebach the singer and Leib Tropper slept with all kinds of women basing themselves on a twisted mystical ideology, it's not just about lusts alone. And of course, the big one, Shabtai Tzvi did it big time, he held orgies in public as did his heirs Jacob Frank (1726-1791) and the Frankists that "worshiped" naked females and were eventually outed, and it's not just about lusts it runs far, far, far more deeper in mystical terms than that. It's not always about psychology and surveys!

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    11. RaP your arguments are totally unconvincing. In the hundreds of cases I heard directly or from therapists or have read - not once has anyone suggested what you are suggesting.

      Is there a single child advocate or therapist who thinks this has anything to do with Shabtsai Tzvi? I haven't met any. Don't know anyone in the frum world who thinks Chasidus is a manifiestation of Shabtsai Tzvi.

      In short - your proposal is nonsense. I think there is more crediblity to the assertion that pedophiles are really Martians.

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    12. "Is there a single child advocate or therapist who thinks this has anything to do with Shabtsai Tzvi? I haven't met any."

      I also see some parallels. Dr. Michael Salomon, the psychologist, writes about the danger of the Daas Torah (DT) doctrine, as we see it practiced, being a risk factor for child sex abuse. I highly recommend his book. I once wrote a short, published letter in the Five Towns Jewish Times, meekly proposing a new term, Daas Rabbonim (DR). DR is something we all believe in. We seek the Torah perspective from an expert, just as seek a medical or legal perspective from a physician or attorney. DT sounds far too authoritative. DT has the ring of papal or royal infallibility, and we believe in neither. Sometimes an idea can be avak avodah zara. How else do we truly explain child sex abuse in the frum community? Hierarchy is so often an obstacle to intelligent progress. Religious hierarchy is deadly. I recommend Thomas Paine's Common Sense, and the Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

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    13. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      1 of 3: "Daas Torah said...Don't know anyone in the frum world who thinks Chasidus is a manifiestation of Shabtsai Tzvi."

      The notion of the "frum world" is the problem here and not the solution! But you may want to see this, that disproves your assertion:

      From Rav Kook on Sabbatianism, by Bezalel Naor, Post-Sabbatian Sabbatianism (1999), pp. 109-113. Copyright 1999 by Bezalel Naor

      "...Unlike many Orthodox thinkers, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook (1865-1935) did not shy away from the subject of Sabbatianism. His published works reveal a more than fleeting interest in the entire Sabbatian phenomenon, from the initial impetus of Messianic activity surrounding the person of Shabbetai Zevi, to the Hayyon and Emden-Eybeschütz controversies, to that Polish offshoot of Sabbatianism, Frankism. This interest extends to both the external, historical, as well as internal, philosophical and psychological aspects. Rav Kook is even willing to rebut the author of ‘Or la-Yesharim ‘s comparison of Herzlian political Zionism to Sabbatianism.

      In one of his earliest published essays, Derekh ha-Tehiyah, which translates into English as, “The Way of Renascence,” Rav Kook casts all human history, and specifically Jewish history, as a tug of war between the forces of learning and intellect on the one hand and the currents of psyche and charisma on the other. In general, Rav Kook views the various pseudomessianic movements that plagued the Jewish People in exile, and Shabbetai Zevi and Jacob Frank in particular, as eruptions of the soulful side of the collective Jewish personality. He refers to Zevi and Frank en passant as he attempts to put Hasidism in perspective:

      Hasidism too came out of the demand of the psychic current that lay dormant. After the unsuccessful attempt of the latest false Messiah, Shabbetai Zevi, who lowered the psychic current to the level of insanity and wicked intoxication, and that culminated in all of its apostasy in the semi-official false Messiah Frank and his entourage—after all these, there was great apprehension lest the nation totally revile any vestige remaining to it of the hidden power of the living psychic currents, and revert to repetition of the letters and observance of the deeds, the commandments and the customs with a bent back and broken heart. (If that were the case) eventually the nation would not be able to survive for lack of freshness and upliftment of the soul.

      This thing was felt by the great personality of the fathers of Hasidism, in which the godly psychic current was alive.
      "

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    14. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      2 of 3: "Daas Torah said...Don't know anyone in the frum world who thinks Chasidus is a manifiestation of Shabtsai Tzvi."

      The approach to Sabbatianism is ambivalent. It may best be summed up by the advice of the Talmud regarding renegade Jews: “Push away with the left hand and bring close with the right.” Condemnatory of the excesses of Sabbatianism, the mental instability of its founder, and the self-imposed apostasy (nokhriyut ) of his spiritual grandson Frank, Rav Kook at once acknowledges the kernel of redeeming value in all this lunacy—a hankering for vital, existential, as opposed to rote, religion.

      This “ambidexterity” will be Rav Kook’s approach to various chapters in Jewish history, whether it be the Christianity of Jesus of Nazareth, the pantheism of Baruch Spinoza7, or the Zionism of Theodore Herzl. Those who have criticized Chief Rabbi Kook for his support of and involvement in the Zionist movement, have too often failed to notice that the posture vis-`a-vis Zionism is but the most recent application of Rav Kook’s historical method.

      Convinced of the essential godliness of the Jewish People, he is forever seeking to glean meaning from the aberrant and absurd. This posture of attempting to uncover hidden good in the ostensibly evil, is itself reminiscent of Sabbatian theology, thus exposing Rav Kook to unfair attack, when in truth, this paradoxical outlook precedes Sabbatianism, having its source in Zoharic and Lurianic Kabbalah.

      Rabbi Kook is definitely no Sabbatian 9. He points out to his correspondent Samuel Alexandrov the folly of considering the present decrepit world order the future of which it is said, “The commandments will be null in the future10,” citing as an example of this fool’s paradise the experiments of the Sabbatians “sunk into the depth of evil.”
      He is not loath to point out to Rabbi Yahia Kafah of San’a that the book he quotes from,’Oz le-Elohim by Nehemiah Hiyya Hayyon, is an heretical work by a Sabbatian.
      It is also not beyond Rav Kook to display empathy and understanding for Rabbi Jacob Emden’s disparagements of certain passages in Zohar, motivated as Emden was by the desire to undercut the Sabbatians, who to a large degree based themselves on Zohar.

      1 of 2: "Daas Torah said...Don't know anyone in the frum world who thinks Chasidus is a manifiestation of Shabtsai Tzvi."

      And while on the subject of Emden’s untiring campaign against crypto-Sabbatians, let us mention that Rav Kook, when pressed by his personal secretary Simon Glitzenstein, revealed what he knew (or thought he knew) of R. Jonathan Eybeschütz’s youthful ensnarement by the Sabbatian heresiarch Löbele Prossnitz.

      Abutting all this, Rav Kook knows the mysterious light, the pathetic, yet unredeemed sparks that beckon to us from fallen Messiahs.

      . . . mysteries of Torah that as a result of their influence on those who delved into them without the proper preparation, have come to be rejected and abused. From this very light of life, from which improper influences produce world catastrophe and peril—precisely from it, will sprout eternal salvation.

      Alter B.Z. Metzger, English translator of Orot ha-Teshuvah, correctly caught the veiled reference to Shabbetai Zevi and Frank, who in distorting the teachings of the Kabbalah, caused them to be reviled by a good portion of Jewry. But Rav Kook reassures us that these teachings need not produce the excesses of which Zevi, Frank and their followers were guilty. The potential for turning the elixir of life into poison, exists on every level of Torah understanding. All depends on the spiritual preparation (or lack thereof) of those involved in its study."

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    15. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      3 of 3: "Daas Torah said...Don't know anyone in the frum world who thinks Chasidus is a manifiestation of Shabtsai Tzvi."

      Perhaps the most startling of all Rav Kook’s statements concerning the would-be Messiahs, is the one occurring in the ill-fated ‘Arpilei Tohar 18 (and later in the more widely circulated Orot 19):

      . . . the fetuses who stood to be Messiahs but fell, were trapped and broken. Their sparks were scattered and seek a living, enduring correction (tikkun) in the foundation of David, King of Israel, “the breath of our nostrils, the anointed (meshiah) of God.”

      While it is not at all clear that Rav Kook includes in his list of Messiahs-in-potentia the likes of Shabbetai Zevi, perhaps reserving this distinction for a Bar Kochba revered by Rabbi Akiba, this does not dull the daring of the thought. That the child born after so many miscarriages (bar niflei ) will encompass in his soul the souls of his stillborn brothers, is truly remarkable. There is a poetic justice here. None of the unsuccessful Messiahs’ attempts at redemption were in vein; all contribute in some sense to the final Redemption.

      Finally, for Rav Kook as for—mutatis mutandis—Sabbatians, “the light of Moses” and “the light of Messiah” are antithetical, being united only at the root of their souls in the “supernal splendor of Adam” (zihara ‘ila’ah de-adam ha-rishon). Though Messiah himself is not portrayed by Rav Kook as abrogating Mosaic law, the entire phenomenon of Messianism is painted in distinctly antinomian tones. Whereas Torah requires an attitude of shamefacedness and humility, Messiah thrives paradoxically on shamelessness, chutzpah. And Rav Kook is quite explicit as to what the chutzpah consists of: Sexuality, fleshliness, and forsaking Torah. As alarming as all this is, it is well within kabbalistic tradition that again, predates Shabbetai Zevi. One may find in MaHaRaL of Prague and SheLaH, and needless to say, in Zohar, similar expressions of the extralegal origins of Messiah, conceived from the less than immaculate unions of Lot and his daughters, Jacob and Tamar, Boaz and Ruth the Moabitess, David and Bathsheba, and Solomon and Na’amah the Amonitess. Yet there is a clarity and profundity of thought in Rav Kook’s pitting the two traditions, Mosaic and Messianic, against one another.

      What puts Rav Kook decisively beyond the reaches of Sabbatian thought, is his formulation of a future in which, “once again the ‘supernal splendor of Adam’ will shine through the gathering of the two luminaries that are one, Moses and Messiah.” Unlike the Sabbatian who revels in the antinomianism of Messianism, Rav Kook’s ideal is the reunification of two traditions that have grown apart, the legal tradition of Moses and the extralegal tradition of Messiah."

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    16. Recipients and PublicityDecember 28, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      Bezalel Naor's "Post-Sabbatian Sabbatianism: Study of an Underground Messianic Movement" is available at Eichlers (http://www.eichlers.com/post-sabbatian-sabbatianism-study-of-an-underground-messianic-movement.html) and from Orot: (http://orot.com/post-sabbatian-sabbatianism/).

      And although he is no authority per se, the chapter, "Redemption Through Sin" (published on scribd) by Gershom Scholem reads like a primer for the likes of those sexual predators steeped in Chasidus like Weberman, Halpern, Elior Chen, Shlomo Carlebach the singer, Leib Tropper (who knew this stuff as well), and many, many others of this ilk.

      Again, it's not just about psychology and lust, it's about a deeper-seated form of evil that mental health professionals cannot even begin to grasp and that is why they will never get to the root of it, let alone eradicate it, if they deny the "mysticism gone awary" that underlies serious sexual depravity among many Chasidim (which is after all a mystical movement!) as preached and practiced by those who adhere to it.

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    17. your thesis gets more and more tenuous. You are basically saying that Shabtzai Tzvi rationalized his misdeeds with a krum theology. Therefore all those who are frum and are warped individuals are somehow part of the movement he set up several hundred years ago?! Your arguments concerning the total lack of evidence for this conspiracy is just mind boggling in its scope and reasoning.

      "Again, it's not just about psychology and lust, it's about a deeper-seated form of evil that mental health professionals cannot even begin to grasp and that is why they will never get to the root of it, let alone eradicate it, if they deny the "mysticism gone awary" that underlies serious sexual depravity among many Chasidim (which is after all a mystical movement!) as preached and practiced by those who adhere to it."

      this reminds me of the assertion there are pink elephants everyone but they disappear when you look at them and that is why they exist despite no evidence.

      behavior or thought which has no evidence because it is too deep for mental health professionals to discover?! Does that mean that rabbis can discover it? Maybe kabbalists?! Could you please provide the names of kabbalists who claim that frum child molesters are part of the Shabtzai Tzvi movment and that contemporary Chassidus ie., Satmar, Ger, Bobov, Lubavitch etc etc has anything to do with it.

      Bottom line your assertions about abusers are nonsense!

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    18. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      1 of 2: "Daas Torah said...behavior or thought which has no evidence because it is too deep for mental health professionals to discover?!"

      RaP: Mental health professionals do NOT have the monopoly on truth!

      "Does that mean that rabbis can discover it?"

      RaP: No. As you know, most of them are part of the problem because they cover things up and are prone to PC group-think

      "Maybe kabbalists?!"

      RaP: They don't give interviews and they don't run blogs. That's for sure.

      "Could you please provide the names of kabbalists who claim that frum child molesters are part of the Shabtzai Tzvi movment and that contemporary Chassidus ie., Satmar, Ger, Bobov, Lubavitch etc etc has anything to do with it."

      RaP: I don't have to. I am arguing based on logic and history.

      "Bottom line your assertions about abusers are nonsense!"

      RaP: Too bad because there are other academics and thinkers who do study and postulate teh direct line from Sabbateanism to Chasidism and concomitant with that the problems of Sabbateanism are latent and imbedded in Chasidism. And we are talking about a tendency by people who are steeped in Chasidus who turn out to be big-time predators, such as Weberman, Halpern, Mondrowitz, and others of their ilk. So take a look at this as an example:

      "From Sabbateanism to Hassidism

      An extract from Prof. Harris Lenowitz's The Jewish Messiahs (Oxford University Press), available from amazon.com, pages 200-1.

      "There are two major schools of thought concerning the affiliation of Hasidism with Shabbateanism -- one holding that Hasidism, in revulsion, moved away from messianic fervor; the other viewing tzaddikism as one of a number of strong links between Hasidism and Shabbateanism. In my view, Hasidism lowered the tone, and scattered the messianic focus of Shabbateanism, and thereby made it legitimate. No longer was attention concentrated exclusively on a single figure, nor was the apocalyptic passion so inflamed. Hasidism localized Shabbateanism, affording each shtetl (Jewish village or quarter) a messiah of its own, the tzaddik. This localism was erected on the Shabbatean deemphasis of what had been the prime goal of messianism: the return of the Jews to the land of Israel and the reestablishment of the messianic movement there. The shtetle locale became the Jerusalem of the Hasidic following, the primary pilgrimage site; there, the faithful brought their offerings, heard prophecies, gazed upon, ate at the table with, and actually had audiences with, the rebbe or tzaddik."

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    19. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 6:39 AM

      2 of 2: "Daas Torah said...behavior or thought which has no evidence because it is too deep for mental health professionals to discover?!"

      "From Sabbateanism to Hassidism (Continued:)

      Hasidism was not that far removed from some forms of Shabbateanism. Frankism, which was the movement most proximate in time and territory to the rise of Hasidism, replaced Jerusalem with Poland as ‘the place of the Ascent.' [YAKOV LEIB: I submit that the United States today replaces Poland -- and even Israel -- as the Messianic ‘place of Ascent.' But more about that in future posts.] Judaism had not seen such an bundance of messiahs as Shabbateanism produced since the messianic flare-up during the struggles against Rome, and Hasidism continued this plurality in its maintenance, ultimately, of dozens of tzaddikim. Shabbateanism itself may be seen as an extension of Luria's theology and of the practices that emerged from the overheated mystic groups and atmosphere of Safed. Both Shabbateanism and Hasidism continued to emphasize the miracle-working that was so characteristic of the conduct of Luria and Vital. Lurianic society also promoted multiple messiah candidates by positing world salvation through the intermediation of whoever was most spiritually qualified for it. The chain that joins Lurianism to Shabbateanism and then to Hasidism includes, in particular, a somewhat disreputable belief in various forms of metensomatosis: reincarnation, metempsychosis, polypsychism, soul-wandering. The Shabbatean candidates after Zvi were, for the most part, alleged reincarnations of his soul. Zvi's third wife, Yocheved, was responsible for electing her brother, Yakov Querido (Filosof), as the new possessor of Zvi's soul. Furthermore, the dynasticism and internal political struggles in Hasidism find their roots in Shabbateanism, as does one of its common solutions to the (less disastrous in Hasidism than in more typical messianic cults) lack of a direct descendant -- turning to the family of the wife of the messiah for a messianic heir."

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    20. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 6:57 AM

      1 of 2: The ugly head and practices of Sabbateanism that emerge when Chasidism goes wrong.

      To understand what happens when Chasidism is corrupted by supposedly avowed followers like charismatic leaders Weberman (Satmar), Halpern (Satmar), Mopndrowitz (Ger), Ilior Chen (Breslove?), Shlomo Carlebach (Lubavitch) the singer and others of their ilk, and sexual things go wrong, one must understand that they have a long pattern of "justifications" based on twisting Kabbala ("menuvalim birshus Toras HaKabbala") that goes back directly to the Sabbateans and Frankists. See this for example:

      "Midwest Jewish Studies Association - Shofar Book Reviews
      Provided as a service by Case Western Reserve University:

      Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi 1666–1816, by Ada Rapoport-Albert, translated by Deborah Greniman. Portland: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2011. 386 pp.

      ...Rapoport-Albert argues that Sabbatean messianism envisioned and partially realized a gender revolution in Judaism, offering a radical departure in understandings of female spirituality. The vision incorporated an egalitarian and a libertine trend that both overturned gender boundaries. Sabbatean antinomianism’s stress on faith rather than positive commandments offered Jewish women their first opportunity to partake in religious life as equals to men, even as celibate holy virgins, for they were no longer viewed as merely material beings. Open transgression of the negative commandments also established parity of the sexes and gave women a central role in religious life, for these prohibitions centered on the body, and promoting previously prohibited sexual relations—especially adultery—offered women, particularly prophetesses and the wives of leading Frankist families, an active role. The author does not address how Frankist father-daughter incest could have been liberating for the female sex.

      In teleological fashion Rapoport-Albert depicts a continuous and ever-radicalizing “egalitarian agenda,” although the evidence is more suggestive than conclusive, as the author admits."

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    21. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 6:59 AM

      2 of 2: The ugly head and practices of Sabbateanism that emerge when Chasidism goes wrong.

      "[Continuing:] Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi 1666–1816, by Ada Rapoport-Albert, translated by Deborah Greniman. Portland: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2011. 386 pp.

      It begins with Shabbatai Tzevi’s pledge to annul the original sin and the abrogration of women’s punishment of childbirth and subservience to men. Women would henceforth be liberated from physical suffering and inferiority; they would be free to engage in spiritual pursuits. Shabbatai Tzevi’s calling women to the reading of the Torah was a concrete expression of this pledge. This egalitarian revolution was carried out most fully at Jacob Frank’s court. Despite the fact that Jacob Frank offered a continually evolving messianic approach over the course of half a century, the author takes Words of the Lord to represent the sum total of his thinking. According to Words of the Lord, men and women had equal spiritual value, and this was realized in equal numbers of male and female disciples, considered “sisters” and “brothers” of the same family. They undertook periods of chastity, and separately performed the same rituals in parallel, interspersed with having ritualized sexual intercourse. Frank’s most original contribution to messianism was conceiving of the manifestation of the feminine powers of the divine in a human female. He claimed the messianic redeemer was a woman, the divine Maiden, embodied in his virgin daughter Eve. This also broke with earlier Sabbateans, whose wives had had redemptive power only by virtue of marriage to the messiah; Eve was destined to redeem the world in her own right by her own power. The study culminates in the appendix with the reproduction of “Something for the female sex” written by a Prague Frankist in 1800, presented as an open call for the sexual and social liberation of women. Reading this document the reader realizes that Rapoport-Albert mainly had late Frankism in mind when depicting a homogenous Sabbatean expression across the centuries.

      The author argues that the Sabbatean egalitarian tendency was seen by its opponents as sexual depravity and evoked a violent response deligitimizing any public display of female spirituality. Sabbatean calls for the liberation of women were never fully realized and ultimately silenced by the erection of impermeable gender barriers in Orthodox Judaism and especially in Hasidism. Hasidism’s call of the sanctification of the profane might have been expected to include women’s participation. Yet that possibility was quickly squelched. Recensions of biographies of Hasidism’s founder, the Ba’al Shem Tov, display a progressive erasure of a central character who recognizes his holiness, a woman closely akin to a Sabbatean prophetess. Hasidic hagiographical literature is full of exorcisms of women and girls, who in an earlier century would have been Sabbatean prophetesses. The mass movement centering on the celibate Maid of Ludmir, who shares some characteristics of Sabbatean gender parity and the independent messianic figure of Eve, was quickly suppressed and forgotten. The reader will not soon forget Women and the Messianic Heresy, for it is filled with stunning narrative accounts of what all branches of Sabbateanism seem to have uniquely offered Jewish women.

      Marc David Baer

      University of California, Irvine
      "

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    22. @DaasTorah-Good grief!Why do you even indulge him?

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  3. Kol hakavod Rav Horowitz. A true Gadol!

    As for Weberman, if he is a "Maloch" please tell me which god he serves.

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  4. For many, its difficult to confront evil. So many of us are innocent and naive. Denial of child sex abuse is also a self-defense mechanism. I actually purchased the Sabbatei Zvi tome a few weeks ago. There are similarities to today's times. Its a long book, to say the least. I hope I can finish it. Above all, the truth needs to be told, as Rabbi Horowitz does here. Fire and child sacrifice are part of moloch. Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik, in Chicago, at a conference, compared child sex abuse to moloch.

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    1. In that case I am amongst those who would ask mechila from rabbi Hurwitz for speaking against him

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  5. I am a spectator who knows nothing about the convicted person, and also know nothing about the community on a personal level. But I once was speaking at length about halacha to someone who may be the senior Satmer posek in the world. We talked about GET MEUSO a forced GET and then broke for Mincha. After Mincha, the Rov called me over and asked, "Do you go to the Mikveh?" I replied, "I would never go to such a revolting and disgusting place as a Mikvah." He smiled and said, "Go back to Monsey and tell everyone that filters are forbidden." The going to a Mikveh with young children is a pedophiles' delight. There is a Mikveh that is known as "homo-central." Someone who works with broken children told me that a lot of the problems began in the Mikvah. All the honor and respect for those who deal with the exact people and their issues. But why not use this information to find out the source of the misery, which is a frumkeit that has gone wild, as Reb Yaacov Kaminetsky said. Someone once commented that a certain Talmied Chochom spent a lot of time in the Mikvah. I responded, and this was in public, "that Talmid Chochom should never go to the Mikvah." People knew what I meant.

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    1. Yosher Koach R' Dovid Eidensohn for pointing out how a concept of "purity" the mikve, has been turned around to one of abuse an impurity.
      This is in fact the "sheretz", the abominations of S'dom under the guise of spiritual purity.
      Here is a rhetorical questions: What is actually more dangerous today, a TV set or a Mikveh?

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    2. Rabbi Horowitz might be absolutely correct about Weberman being a monster of the worst kind. But I find it scary that in the US today, someone can be sent away for a long time based on one person's testimony and zero evidence whatsoever.

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    3. Dovod Eidensohn: What was the Satmar Dayan's position on Get Meusa? And what did he mean about filters?

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    4. "the filters" is the comment by the Satmar Rav, who apparently missed the point of RDE.

      There are other filters, i.e. the ones that filter my comments..

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    5. Testimony is evidence.

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    6. Eddie, I don't have a TV set and neither do my neighbors, but they do go to Mikveh. I am not against MIKVA at all. It is surely a holy thing. But as with all holy things, it has to be used at the right time and in the proper circumstances. The gemora says Shabbos 118B that Rabbeinu HaKodosh was called "Holy" because he never saw his own nakedness. What about going to a men's Mikvah and seeing everybody's nakedness? And when we know that chid molesters and other such people frequent the Mikvah, do we send our children there? Does a child go with his father? Phooey.

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  6. What did he mean by "Go back to Monsey and tell everyone that filters are forbidden."

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    1. If the water goes through a filter and is processed some maintain that it is unfit for a Mikvah. i was no told anything about the Rov's reasoning or actual pesak, only the words I quoted. I came back to Monsey and told some rabbonim and they told me that many rabbonim are very strict with the filters, in the regular Mikvah for NOSHIM.

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  7. , "I would never go to such a revolting and disgusting place as a Mikvah". Not even on Erev Yom Kippur???

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    1. I'll leave that to your imagination. I believe that going to a place where men stand around naked is forbidden. This is even without the problem of sick men. But today with the sick men, it is much worse. And the sick men are the first one to be in the Mikvah and the last to leave.

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  8. The Vilna Gaon didn't like mikvah for men, and neither do I. Personally, it reminds me of baptism. If I dunk, do my sins get forgiven? I might as well believe in Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I don't get to mikvah. It also blurs the distinction between the genders. Shalom aleichim, Rav Dovid Eidensohn.

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    1. http://www.breslev.co.il/articles/judaism/practical_halacha/do_men_need_mikva_2.aspx?id=8786&language=english


      The Gaon of Vilna (Gra)

      Rabbi Yisroel Mishklov one of the greatest students of the Gra writes in his name that the Gra was extremely stringent about a Baal Keri immersing in the Mikva. The Sefer Bais Yackov writes “ The Gra was very careful about the immersion of a Baal Keri before he prayed. Rabbi Moshe Shternbach writes about the fact that many in the Yeshivot today do not go to the Mikva. It is a great wonder to him for the Gra was very stringent about having people go to the Mikva. All this came about since all the Gedolim would go to the Mikva in secrecy for reasons of modesty and many would not announce that they went to the Mikva every day for this reason. It came out, in the end that people assumed that the Gedolim of Lithuania did not hold of going to the Mikva. Rabbi Shternbach then writes that this is completely wrong and it is the exact opposite and who ever can, should spread this so people do not deal in holiness while their body is impure.

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    2. תשובות והנהגות כרך ב סימן ר

      והנה רבינו הגר"א זצ"ל החמיר מאד באיסור טבילה בשבת גם לבעל קרי, ובספר שזכיתי להוציא לאור "מעשה רב החדש" מכת"י הגה"ק מחבר ספר הפרדס ה"ה הרב אריה ליב אפשטיין זצ"ל מביא שרבינו הגר"א זצ"ל קרא תגר על הטובלים בשבת קדש בשחרית, ובשם תלמידיו מביא שמה (עמוד י"ח) שאינו רוצה טהרתם ומוחה בידם, וגברא רבה אמר מילתא שאסור, ויש לכאורה לדברי המחמירים יסוד ועיקר גדול.

      והנה נקדים לבאר יסוד שיטת הגר"א זצ"ל בטבילה לאנשים, שמצד אחד החמיר מאד בטבילה לבעל קרי או מי ששימש מיטתו לטבול ולא להתפלל לפני שטבל, ואף כשאסר בשבת ציוה שיטבול מיד במוצאי שבת, ולא להמתין עד בקר, וכמובא במעשה רב, אבל מאידך גיסא מה שנהגו בזמן האחרון שגם טהור טובל כל יום אף שלא נטמא הוא לא ראה בזה תועלת, רק ראוי לנצל זמן זה ללמוד תורה שמלבן כאש ואין טהרה כמותו.

      ונמצא אצלי בכת"י דברי רבינו שמואל מלצן זצ"ל שהיה בקי נפלא במנהגי הגר"א, והוא מציין שהטובלים אף כשהם טהורים נראה שאין בזה אפילו מדת חסידות, וראיה לזה שבשבת (קנז) מעשה בחסיד אחד שירד וטבל וחשדוהו, וקשה למה חשדוהו הלוא אפשר שטבל אף בטהור, וע"כ מוכח שאין בזה שום חסידות, ונאמנים עלינו דבריו שזהו דעת תלמידי רבינו הגר"א זצ"ל, והמקור לטבילה יום יום רפיא ולא שמענו נוהגין כן פשוטי עם או ת"ח עד זמן האחרון, ויש אומרים שראוי לטהר עצמו יום יום בבקר כבעל תשובה וצריך טבילה, ואשרי חלקו אם בזאת זוכה יום יום לטהרה כצדיקי עולם שאז ראוי לטבילה. וישראל קדושים הם ולא נחטט במנהגיהם שבודאי יש לזה לדעתם תועלת, אבל להגר"א זצ"ל נראה כמ"ש ולא נהגו בזמנו רוב תלמידיו לטבול כשהוא טהור כמ"ש.

      ולפי זה נבין עומק שיטת הגר"א זצ"ל בטבילה בשבת, שבשו"ע (שכ"ו) מביא דמאחר שההיתר לאדם לטבול הוא מפני שנראה כמיקר, אם כן היום שנהגו לאסור בשבת רחיצת כל הגוף להקר לא נראה כמיקר, ואסור לבעל קרי לטבול בשבת דנראה כמתקן ע"ש, אבל גם לדעת הגר"א זצ"ל אם הוא טהור גמור וטובל בשבת בבקר לתוספות קדושה אין לחשוש כלל מצד איסור כמתקן, וכדאי' בבה"ל סוד"ה אדם, ואם כן בזמנינו שנהגו אלפי איש לטבול לתוספות קדושה שבודאי מותר, ובזמן הגר"א זצ"ל ובמקומו לא נהגו לטבול לתוספות קדושה בעלמא שפיר אסר לבעל קרי לטבול דנראה כמתקן, אבל בזה"ז לכ"ע אין חשש איסור נראה כמתקן אף בטמא דאפשר שטובל לתוספות קדושה שגם לדידיה מותר וז"ב.

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    3. Some hold that tevilas Ezra can be had in a shower. It is clear from the Mishneh Berura and Rabbeinu Ovadiah Bartanura that today there is no obligation for men to go to the MIKVAH. Chassidim are very strong on it and it is a good thing if you can do it without doing aveiruse such as standing around among a bunch of naked men and the sickies. A Lithuanian Gadol Hador was once observed coming out of a Mikvah. He ordered the person who saw him not to tell anyone. Yes, people did try to go. If I had a Mikvah of my own and privacy I would surely use it. But to walk into that? Phooey,

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    4. Actually Baptism is a Ritual that Christianity copied and is derived from from the Jewish ritual of Mikveh. Chazal refer to John the Baptist as Yochanan Hatavlan.

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    5. Question@DAAS TORAH. Should a Ball Keri go to the mikva nowadays?I had a rebbe who told me he never went to the mikva.I have been only several times.

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    6. simple answer is it depends on whom you ask.

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  9. I am finding the anti-mikvah rhetoric here plainly revolting. The mikvah for men is a halacha matter, though in present times, there is only tevilas Ezra. It may not be mandatory for daily tevila, but it is universally recognized and held in high regard. Those anti-mikvah cultists would also assail the use of the mikvah on Shabbos, though they would probably challenge the eyewitness reports that the Chofetz Chaim ZT"L went to mikvah early Shabbos morning.

    The fact is that anything positive could be used for the negative, whether mikvah or anything else. And it is obligatory that each community take all needed measures to insure that the mikvah remains a place of kedusha, and never, ever involves a compromise on tznius or safety to anyone. In parallel to the fears that yeshivos are "danger zones" with regards to sexual abuse, the anti-mikvah fanatics seem to brand the mikvah as a "danger zone". It is simply inaccurate. Statistics and even anecdotal data do not support such generalizations. The fact that tevila is done in "Odom's klaider" makes it imperative that caution be used. But the extreme attitudes to label a mikvah a disgusting place are not supported by either fact or logical thinking. Similarly, I challenge the insinuation that daily use of a mikvah was considered by Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ZT"L as "frumkeit gone wild".

    I personally know someone who was a "mikvah perpetrator", so I am not denying the existence of this potential for abuse. But if you recognize that the vast majority of all sexual abuse involves family or someone close to family, this bizarre and extreme attitude would demand that we establish that all children be raised in group residences, never at home. Are there enough shrinks in the world to treat this mental illness?

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  10. To Rabbi Dovid Eidenson:
    Have you never heard of "Tvilas Ezra"?

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    1. Ma Rabbi, If you noticed my previous post I made it clear that my attitude is about today's Mikveh swarming with naked men. I feel this is the opposite of holiness especially when we know that this is the major place for the sickies to visit. There is no obligation today for men to go to a Mikvah. Many such as Chassidim embrace this, but the Mishneh Berurah and Bar Tenura in the Mishnayose say that there is no obligation today. Do we attain higher holiness standing around with naked people?

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    2. Your premise is ridiculous. A Mikvah can be abused. So can every known wine and liquor. So can money. The list goes on. Are we to abandon and ban things because of the potential for abuse? Go hide in a cave, eat the local grasses, mushrooms, and drink the trickles of water. Your position is plainly bizarre.

      If you addressed the need to establish boundaries and limitations on boys going to mikvah, I may disagree, but can understand the point. And if you go to Mikvah, and wish to circulate by attending to others' nakedness, it speaks volumes about your character and preoccupations, not the environment of the mikvah.

      If you know of any sickies who visit a mikvah, point them out to a gabbai or someone in charge, and get rid of them. They are the problem, not the mikvah.

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  11. It is time we examine why people like Dvora Feldman and this victim felt so oppressed by satmar. The Bais Yaakov movement was started to empower young women to fight the secular tide and keep their heritage through strength and not oppression since ultimately one leaves the yoke of Torah when they feel oppressed. Satmar does not deal with the yetzer hora, they ignore it. For example, everyone knows that shaitlach are a bdieved, however, it is allowed since the media has seeped in and how many men would find their wives attractive in a shpitz? Women have entered the work place and the models are shiksas, not rebbetzins, therefore it is an "ais lasos." Furthermore, the internet is assur but we deal with the yetzer using filters; a girl should be empowered with tznius instead of having it a bunch of dos and don'ts. I remember when I was in grad school there was an article of a man opening the door for a woman is a sign of having power over her and I burst out laughing... I said if you read the old books (Anne of Green Gables, Anne says to Mathew that her friend says that when a man goes courting he speaks religion to the mother and politics to the father. This means that the woman is the moral fiber of the home, chivalry is the way we treat our Torah scholars. However, when a woman curses like a man, is vulgar like a man, and promiscuous like a man then there is nothing to respect. A properly Torah educated girl is empowered with tznius and all the mitzvos she performs and does not need the Jewish hypocrytical Taliban thugs who use the Torah as an excuse for theft and violence and the ability to vent their frustration because they are ignorant and do not have the ability to earn an honest living.

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    1. Debora Feldman is totally irrelevant to this dicussion. I am surprised you mentioned her or aren't you aware of the trail of self-serving inventions she has left?

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    2. As per previous comment that Dvora Feldman has nothing to do with this, I respond that she has everything to do with the point I am making. She sought intellectual stimulation if you read the synopsis of her work. If you read about this case the victim was accused of being a heretic for asking questions, and frankly the school should be sued and the principal imprisoned for not investigating her complaints that she does not want to go to him and receiving some sort of kick back(why else would he owe $72,000 to the school). Furthermore, are you so sure that Satmer is the gold standard in kashrus? It was the gold standard in tznius! They should be boycotted which would help destroy their mafia! Finally, they violate the 7 mitvos bnei noach of setting up dinim which is precisely why Simon and Levi killed the city of Shechem and that was NOT a sin. Yaakov aveinu was angry that they did not consult with him who is the gadol hador. Today I don't know who is trustworthy, the Satmer rebbe? Ha ha ha

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  12. I wrote "personally" I don't like mikvah. Its a subjective feeling. I'm not preaching for all adult men not to go. I acknowledge that many rabbis from the yeshiva world do go on a regular basis. Others don't. The Vilna Gaon appears to limit mikvah for the baal keri. I hope to learn this entire issue further.

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  13. For the record:
    Elliot Pasik is the president of JBAC.
    Another torah'dik organization.

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    1. "For the record:
      Elliot Pasik is the president of JBAC.
      Another torah'dik organization."

      Sure is.

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  14. To say: "I would never go to such a revolting and disgusting place as a Mikvah." is worse then not believing in eating hot food on Shabbos morning. No checking is required for this.
    Is this guy you brother?

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  15. "Is this guy you(r) brother?"

    Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn is (like his brother) a serious, published talmid chochom, with one halacha sefer receiving haskomos from Rav Moshe Feinstein, and Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky. I have two seforim in my home, which I recommend highly, Secrets of the Scale; and The Torah That Was, and The Torah That Will Be. Rabbi Eidensohn has learned with Rav Ahron Kotler, Rav Moshe, Rav Yakov, and Rav Shmuel Toledano. I've had the privilege of meeting both brothers, and sharing in many informative, illuminating email conversations.

    Everything is context. In personal conversation between two serious rabbis, or just two serious people in general, blunt truth goes a long way. "I would never go..." sounds appropriate to me. Frankly, I wish more people spoke that way.

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  16. Allow me to defend my brother for being my brother. First of all, it wasn't his fault that I am his brother. Second of all, the remark I made was to a Gadol HaDor who knew exactly what I was saying, and was not at all offended, although he surely goes to Mikvah. I tell my friends who are Hassidic rabbis what I think of this practice, and they have no answer to my complaints except that everyone does it. I don't. Of course, if someone doesn't know my reasoning, it can become confusing. Actually, when I spoke to this Gadol Hador I was visiting my brother, so I suppose it is my brother's fault!

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  17. I'm enjoying all the comments here by Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn. I went to public schools in the Bronx and Queens in the 60s and 70s. The bathrooms were not safe. School officials kept the bathroom doors open, and even the stall doors were actually removed. One of the many attractions of the observant Jewish way of life is the overall t'znius. I'm not worried that my children will be assaulted in their yeshiva bathroom. I am worried that children can be assaulted in a mikvah. I don't believe in mikvah for children, and that I will preach.

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  18. David.
    You don't get it.
    'They have no answer for you' is self understood why.

    The issue is not if one should or should not go to a mikvah, everyday, every week, once a year or whatever. The issue is how you referred to a mikvah. "such a revolting and disgusting place as a Mikvah" is not a term to be used by anyone, at any time, or under any circumstances.
    Women uses mikvahs. In the times of the mikdash everyone used a mikvah. So just because you have issues does not give you the right to say something like that.
    Reb Aron, Reb moshe ,Reb Yaakov and all your other so called rebbies are turning over in their graves the way you used the phrase you did. They all would dis-own you if they were alive. and you know it.
    Don't even defend yourself - just apologize.

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    1. wordless - your "piety" is astounding and absurd.

      I assume you are aware that Chazal said that before Moshiach the yeshivas will be houses of prostitution? How could Chazal refer to a yeshiva as a house of prostitution? If mikvehs are places where disgusting things happen - you really think that it is prohibited to mention it? Your ruach hakodesh about what gedolim think is total nonsense. You are just are shooting off your mouth.

      רש"י מסכת סוטה דף מט עמוד ב

      ובית הוועד - של חכמים יהיו לבית זנות שכלו החכמים ואין לומד תורה ויהא חרב מאין איש ובעלי זימה מתגודדים שם מפני שחוץ לעיר היו בתי מדרשות שלהם.

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    2. Dear brother,
      If you had not spent much time speaking to true Gedolim and prominent poskim you too would have Ruach HaKodesh! What else would you have? Of course, I agree with you. But you are from a different generation. The above post was, by the standards of the time, a truly sincere effort at protecting kedusho. That is exactly the problem. Everyone is running in the wrong direction, leshaim shomayim. You see, dear brother, they all have Ruach HasKodesh.
      I remember the days after Reb Aharon Kotler died. Someone sitting at my table offered, "If I would have have known he would die, I would have spoken to him." That is what this generation is all about. They didn't speak to Reb Aharon, but they know exactly what his opinions are. I had Reb Aharon Kotler zt"l and Reb Moshe Feinstein zt'l alone for hours. Others didn't need him. They had Ruach HaKodesh.
      And now, these people are telling us about the derech of Reb AHaron that would make Reb Aharon tremble. But that is what happens when there is a huge generational gap such as when these great Gedolim came to an America with people like me who loved playing basketball. I knew what time it was and spoke to the Gedolim despite what the result of that was (let's not talk about that). Others learned plenty on their own, but that is different. They didn't get their head handed to them on a platter and they did not get what I got. But what they did get was the holy spirit to invent a new Torah and that is destroying us. I hope to clarify this in more depth another time.

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  19. Worldess,
    I am fighting a lonely battle with the greatest rabbis of the past and present generations. None of them thought less of me for hearing what I had to say. A very great rabbi of the past generation heard me out for two hours, attacking the most sacred of his practices, which is another topic, and at the end he said, "You have the sources, but we don't do things that way." Okay, I will stay with the sources, especially when we see what happens when we try something new. Another very great rabbi openly said that what we do is not according to the Talmud. But we do it anyway. I don't accept that, even though that is how people live. My main theme in all of this is that the new extreme ideas in frumkeit are destroying people. This was Reb Yaacov's teaching. Another Gadole of the past generation told me that _____ is hashchoso. The _____ is an extremely sacred thing, but he made his point, that the way it is done is destruction, not holiness.

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  20. Bais vaad.....in simple terms means: what was once a BM will now be a house of........

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  21. Observer,
    I disagree. True, there is a discussion of BM becoming _____; but this refers to a lower level of evil where somebody wants to be evil. But when someone wants to be good by doing evil, it is much worse.

    I heard from a great Gaon in the previous generation: Someone committed a crime that no Jew ever committed. A rabbi was asked how this could be and he said, "I don't know. But one thing I do know. He meant to do good."

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  22. He is an evil man and it has nothing to do with him being "Chasidic" or Jewish at all. He could be a Catholic Priest or a Soccer Coach. The problem with the insular Satmars as well as other Chaseedish communities is that they care more about how things look than how things are. They care more about the Shidduch prospects of their other children than the one child that is being abused. The mentality has to be changed. A parent needs to be vigilant, teach their children that there are dangers out there and that even if someone looks like a good frumm yid, they cannot trust anyone. There is a reason why we have halochos to protect us and they must be followed vigilantly. Anytime a person in authority shirks off the halachos of yichud, making themselves out to be too good to worry about, WORRY. My children know that if ANYONE touches them that that is not ok and that they need to scream NO and get out and tell someone, even if it is the Rav of the community himself. I would always believe a child who tells that they are experiencing abuse. The parents of these girls should be prosecuted for allowing this to go on for so many years. It's a shame no one thought to put cameras in his office. We could have it all on film and have him in the slammer. I hope the other inmates have their way with him. Maybe they were married to him in prior gilgulim too...

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    1. What do we gain from having evil criminals raping Weberman? We need him in jail to keep him away from his current and future victims. Hashem knows how to judge people and punish them and if Weberman spends the rest of his life playing chess with a few old men who got on the wrong side of the law spying for the Soviet Union in 1975 then it's fine by me. He will probably be kept separate from the general prison population and be locked up with other scared perverts.

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    2. I don't know what the situation is like in NY, but in NJ there is a special prison for sex offenders. It's better for both them (keeps them from being attacked) and others (keeps them under watch of those who specialize in that kind of sickness).

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    3. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      "R Kogan Ratner said...He is an evil man and it has nothing to do with him being "Chasidic" or Jewish at all. He could be a Catholic Priest or a Soccer Coach."

      I like your response and there is some truth to what you say, but I am not sure if you know how "pervert mystics" or "mystical perverts" work and the type of "magical thinking" world they live in! Perhaps this goes back to Bilam, who among the gentiles was as great as Moses, and when he saw that his curses against the Children of Israel did not work, he then advised the Midianites and Moabites to send their daughters to seduce the Jewish men with the sexually depraved idol worship of Ba'al Pe'or that ensnared tens of thousands of Israelites. This came from a sick and scheming evil mind that thought nothing of deploying sexual depravity in the service of destroying human lives and somehow seeing as part of an "avoda zora" that would "help" them win over the Jewish victims. This is perhaps the seed of the type of depravity we are dealing with here and why mere mental health professionals will never get it if all they imagine they are fighting is some mentally or emotionally troubled people when it goes far deeper than that.

      One of the best examples in recent history of the deployment of this method of using sexual depravity to further "noble goals" was the rise of the notorious Russian mystic monk Rasputin (1869-1916) who seduced the entire royal court of the Russian monarchy and deployed sexual depravity with continuous layers of outward spirituality and depravity. In fact, like guys like Weberman, Rasputin's wife stood by his side (in Siberia) and supported him.

      One fascinating feature of Rasputin's modus operandi was that even though he was a Christian "monk" he belonged to a secrete sect that was almost identical to the Jewish Sabbateans and Frankists, and resembled the early Mormons viewing sex as just a tool to conquer unlimited amounts of females and make them into "soul mates" -- and he did this with a veneer of piety and the support of the Czar and Czarina of Russia who gave him official sanction, just as guys like Weberman get official sanction and cover from the highest royals courts of Satmar and other sexual predators get cover from the heads of top Chasidic dynastic leaders such as Mondrowitz gets from the Gerrer Rebbe, and Leib Tropper gets from Aron Schechter. This is all cult stuff.

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    4. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      "[Continued:] R Kogan Ratner said...He is an evil man and it has nothing to do with him being "Chasidic" or Jewish at all. He could be a Catholic Priest or a Soccer Coach."

      But since we are dealing with Jewish-Chasidic-mystical-kabbalistically aware-Talmid Chochem type leaders who have gone awry who have obviously found ways to live in peace with their twisted ideologies of evil and wickedness, this is much more serious for observant Jews, because the root of this evil and wickedness must be understood first in order to be tracked down, something that is far easier said than done.

      Reading up a little on Rasputin's life and beliefs sounds so much like reading up on the Sabbateans, Frankists, and those prominent off the derech (OTD) Chasidim and Kabbalists who have become practitioners of evil and immorality from within their own so-called "belief-systems" so see this for example, there are lots more that describe and explain the monsters we are up against (that mere psychotherapy or even medication, or even jail time, will not help or cure):

      "Salvation through Sin: The Secret World of Russia’s Khlysty Sect [Much of the information for this came from Brian Moynahan’s excellent biography of Rasputin. Also of possible interest: Wikipedia: Khlysts; The Khlysty Sect: Short articles; The Khlysty; Another article on the Khlysty]

      I recently read a bit about a cultish sect known as the Khlysty (Христы) that was active in Russia from the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries. I figure it might be of interest to some people here—the story of the Khlysty is one of secrecy, ambiguity, forbidden spiritual doctrines and extreme philosophical stances.

      Banned by authorities and the source of scandalous rumor, the Khlysty survived in a secretive, underground world of strange, antinomian rituals. Believing that one needed to plumb the depths of sin in order to gain salvation, the Khlysty were akin to many “left-hand path” groups throughout religious history in that they fused forbidden and sexual behavior with spirituality. Comparisons to Vamachara Tantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Sabbatean-Frankist Judaism, as well as certain antinomian groups throughout Christian history such as the medieval Brotherhood of the Free Spirit, certainly suggest themselves.

      The Early Years

      The origins of the Khlysty are placed in 17th-century Siberia, when a peasant and army deserter, Danilo Filipov, declared that he was a living God, and that there was no inherent barrier between the human and the divine. The word "Khlysty" is usually seen to refer to the whips that sect members used upon themselves in their rituals. (More on this below.)...

      The Radaev Line

      In its early days, the cult stressed asceticism and self-denial. Alcohol, marriage, and swearing were forbidden, and children (the product of sex) were called “sins.” People could marry, but the women were known as “spiritual wives” and no sex was allowed.

      This would change with the advent of a Khlyst cult leader known as Radaev and his followers, or “line.” Radaev taught the following doctrines:
      -Chastity was a sin because it was rooted in pride.
      -Radaev was animated by God’s will, not his own base desire, and if he wished to sleep with a woman she must agree, as it represented God’s will.
      -Generally, Khlysts should live daily, sex-free lives between rituals, when they would meet in groups."

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    5. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      "Salvation through Sin: The Secret World of Russia’s Khlysty Sect

      The Secret Khlysty Meetings

      ...Because the groups were illegal, members were encouraged to be especially devout and active in their local Orthodox churches, to maintain secrecy and deflect possible suspicions.

      Khylsty meetings were held in forest clearings and secret dugouts beneath barns. The meetings would begin with singing and drumming around a bonfire. The members began to dance, seeking a state of mystical transport they called radeinie, or “frenzy,” which was seen as necessary for possession by the Holy Spirit. They would whip themselves with birch-branches and begin to speak ecstatically in what they called “the Language of Jerusalem.” As the sense of divine intoxication mounted, the ritual reached a creshendo when the group would collapse into indiscriminate sexual orgy. This was called “using sin to drive out sin,” which (interestingly) reminds me of the Tantric Buddhist description of left-handed (sexual) Tantra as “using poison to cure poison.”

      Other Beliefs

      In addition to their “scandalous” sexual behavior, the Khlysty held some other unusual view. They believed that man could be united with the divine in this lifetime (another belief shared with Tantrics and indeed mystics of all stripes). They also believed Christ was constantly reincarnated and in each era walked the earth somewhere as a humble peasant. In other words, they believed that given moment, somewhere, the current incarnation of Christ walking in the body of a poor man. Sin was said to be necessary for salvation, because without sin there could be no repentance, and without repentance there could be no salvation.

      Rasputin and the Khlysty

      Gregori Rasputin, the wandering monk who ingratiated himself with the Tsar’s family in the final years before the Russian Revolution, was rumored to have been involved with the Khlysty in his early years in Siberia, but no conclusive proof was ever unearthed of this. Certainly his words and deeds evidenced Khlysty themes, such as the intertwining of sexuality and religion, and his use of a mysterious underground chapel while in Siberia. As a young man, Rasputin wandered about seeking knowledge from many religious teachers in Russia, and it is possible he had some contact with or was influenced by this group."

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    6. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      1 of 2:

      Using the example of Rasputin -- a kind of Christian "Sabbatean" -- as an example of how to grasp what king size frum sexual predators like Weberman, Halpern, Mondrowitz, Tropper, Elior Chen and those of their ilk, are all about. Notice the religious rigorous training, the obvious charismatic personality, the deep spiritual aura, powers of absolute leadership, deep religious convictions and rationalizations for the depravity that is espoused and practiced:

      Article by Dr. R. Kreuzer of St. Lawrence University:

      "RASPUTIN: A Man of Mystery

      ...Rasputin was born a peasant in Povroskoe, a small village in Western Siberia in June of 1872. His father, Efim Rasputin, and mother, Anna, stressed religion in their family life. During this time in Russia and especially in Siberia, there was a large majority of illiterates. However, Rasputin’s father was fortunate enough to have the advantage of a small education in order to read the Bible to his family every night. This act was to have a great impact on Rasputin’s life by leading him towards his future path as a “holy man” and eventually to being a powerful figure in the Russian court of Czar Nicholas II. (Fuhrmann 2)

      Grigori Rasputin was said to be gifted with psychic powers from an early age.

      ...He was widely known as a ladies man and most of the young women in his village were attracted to his dark mysteriousness. Despite his womanizing nature, Rasputin fell in love by the time he was nineteen and after six months of courtship he married Praskovaya Dubrovina, a 23 year old woman from a neighboring Siberian village. (Fuhrmann 5)

      Even after his marriage to Praskovaya, Rasputin continued some of his wild ways such as getting drunk and causing trouble.

      [a] pilgrimage to Verkhoturie set Rasputin on a new course in life. At the monastery he met Makary, a renowned religious figure in Russia who was a recluse. Before making the journey to the monastery, Rasputin and his wife lost their first son. Makary told Rasputin that this tragedy was a sign from God and that he should return to his village and become a Man of God. He followed these instructions and came back to his village a completely different man. He decided to give up eating meat, drinking and tobacco and prayed continually.

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    7. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      2 of 2:

      Using the example of Rasputin -- a kind of Christian "Sabbatean" -- as an example of how to grasp what king size frum sexual predators like Weberman, Halpern, Mondrowitz, Tropper, Elior Chen and those of their ilk, are all about. Notice the religious rigorous training, the obvious charismatic personality, the deep spiritual aura, powers of absolute leadership, deep religious convictions and rationalizations for the depravity that is espoused and practiced:

      Article by Dr. R. Kreuzer of St. Lawrence University:

      "RASPUTIN: A Man of Mystery

      The pilgrimage that had changed Rasputin’s life also introduced him to an odd sect in the Russian Orthodox faith known as the Skoptsy. This sect believed that in order to connect with God one must commit sins. Only through sin and confession could forgiveness be achieved. Simply it was defined as “sin to drive out sin” and perfectly suited Rasputin if he was to reform himself. His past was full of sin and by becoming a monk under this religious sect, Rasputin was able to continue sinning and become a religious teacher who traveled the world all at the same time. (Beéche 1)

      ...Along with his preaching experience, travels across the land, and his knowledge of religious scripture, Rasputin also developed the ability to heal. Through teachings of Christian prayer and pagan spells against disease he was able to learn this trait which would later serve as his key to the Russian Imperial family (Radzinsky 46).

      ...people in St. Petersburg who stated that his enemies charged that he “was nothing but cynical, and that he used religion to mask his drive for sex, money, and power” (Hollenbach 1).

      Acceptance Into the Imperial Family

      ...Rasputin gained influence in the Imperial family mainly due to the Tsarevich’s ailments. Nicholas was impressed by Rasputin as well; he once said: “He [Rasputin] is just a good, religious, simple minded Russian. When in trouble or assailed by doubts, I like to have a talk with him, and invariably feel at peace with myself afterward.” Alexandra, however, thought of Rasputin as an important figure in her and her son’s life. She completely believed that her former advisor, Philippe, had sent Rasputin to her and to help her overcome the troubles in her life. Rasputin’s healing powers became the key to his influence (Massie 200). Rasputin rose to power through his undeniable ability to relieve Alexei’s pain and suffering due to hemophilia. Whenever the heir to the throne was hurt and his survival was doubtful, Rasputin was able to ease his suffering and guarantee his recovery. This alone increased the Tsarina’s admiration and appreciation of Rasputin and established a place for him in the life of the Imperial family.

      ...His miraculous performances with Alexei brought him even more prestige and admiration."

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    8. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      The downfall of king-kong sized sexual predators like Weberman who have the support of their community's leadership, is not un-similar to the downfall of Rasputin, who in spite of the support he had from the top leadership that knew of his perverted ways yet were powerless to stop him and colluded with him until things came crashing down around them:

      Dr. R. Kreuzer of St. Lawrence University:

      "RASPUTIN: A Man of Mystery

      II. The Downfall of Rasputin

      The Corruption and Death of Rasputin

      The seemingly humble peasant that Nicholas and Alexandra had welcomed into their lives was now becoming more elegant and rude. He began to dress in expensive and elaborate garments. He also had an increasing number of female followers. He flirted with them often and in front of them all, picked one and led her to his bedroom which the disciples referred to as: The Holy of Holies.” While in the room alone with her he told the woman “You think that I am polluting you, but I am not. I am purifying you.” Rasputin also made advances towards the Grand Duchess Olga and caused controversy in the palace when the governess of the Tsarevnas demanded that he be barred from their rooms since she found him with the girls late at night after they had changed. Nothing inappropriate occurred but it was clearly improper. When the governess suggested this to the Tsarina she was outraged and defended Rasputin. It was the Tsar who was forced to interrupt and support the accusation of Rasputin’s inappropriate presence (Massie 208). This event clearly illustrates the hold that Rasputin had over the Tsarina.

      By 1911 the controversy surrounding Rasputin was strong. Despite their former appreciation of Rasputin, the Grand Duke and Duchess who first introduced him to the Tsar and Tsarina exclaimed that they “never wanted to see the devil again.” The Russian Orthodox Church was the first organization to officially conduct an investigation into Rasputin. They received countless confessions from women who Rasputin had taken advantage of and brought this evidence to the Tsarina. She was apparently completely blind to his misdeeds, ignored all warnings, and had the man who brought the complaints to her transferred. Rasputin was again attacked by rumors of a love affair with Alexandra. Another monk named Iliodor saw Rasputin as a friend. He soon learned of Rasputin’s transgressions and urged him to change his ways. However, once Iliodor found out that Rasputin had tried to seduce and then rape a nun he was outraged and made Rasputin swear to leave women and the royal family alone. This promise was not fulfilled (Massie 210-213).

      No matter what evidence was brought to the Imperial family about Rasputin’s crimes, it was not believed. His influence over the Tsar and Tsarina made them see him as a saint. Alexandra herself refusing to believe any rumors stated that “he is hated because we love him.” She was mistaken and was biased; she failed to recognize the evil in the man that she regarded as a saint. Pierre Gilliard, Alexei’s tutor, said “The fatal influence of that man [Rasputin] was the principal cause of death of those who thought to find in him their salvation” (Massie 214)."

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    9. Recipients and PublicityDecember 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      [Continued:] The downfall of king-kong sized sexual predators like Weberman who have the support of their community's leadership, is not un-similar to the downfall of Rasputin, who in spite of the support he had from the top leadership that knew of his perverted ways yet were powerless to stop him and colluded with him until things came crashing down around them:

      "RASPUTIN: A Man of Mystery

      II. The Downfall of Rasputin


      In 1915, during World War I, Tsar Nicholas II decided to take over command of the troops on the Eastern Front. It is said that Rasputin suggested this in order to leave the Tsarina to rule Russia and through her he knew he could influence the nation. He was right. During this time Alexandra valued his advice. Previously he was able to have people appointed to power, and he now had the power to remove all from their positions who opposed him as well. His influence was continually growing (Columbia).

      Rasputin’s influence began to chip away at the Imperial government. The people had no faith in autocratic rule anymore and the main cause was Rasputin and his control over the Tsarina. Something needed to be done to remove Rasputin from his dangerous position of power...

      Rasputin Today

      Even today there is controversy over Rasputin and his role in Russian history. A current debate in the Russian Orthodox Church over whether Rasputin and Ivan the Terrible should be canonized is creating arguments among the people. Those in favor of the canonization say that Rasputin’s reputation was tarnished by his political opponents and by Jewish citizens who wanted to remove his influence from the court. They also distribute pamphlets on the positive aspects of Rasputin and his “bodily wounds and a ferocious death from the Jews” (Strauss).

      Those members of the Orthodox faith who are against the canonization of Rasputin and Ivan the Terrible promote the misdeeds that the two infamous figures have committed. They label Rasputin as a “mad monk” who was a womanizer that had purely selfish motives with his influence in the Russian court (Strauss).

      ...There are many theories that dispute Rasputin’s skills of curing the hemophiliac child. Medical research has uncovered new information that was not known at the time about the disease, especially that of the sufferers ability to recover very quickly. Rasputin may have been a man of God who was brought to the Russia royals with an intention to aid, advise, and heal, however, he may also have been a fraud who wanted nothing more than to escape trouble, get out of Siberia and selfishly acquire power to influence Russia."

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  23. And what about the complicit network/school who continued to refer girls to him all these years and forced them to pay and go on penalty of expulsion/shame to themselves and their families?!

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  24. I saw a long article from Weberman's cousin @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/94050797/MY-COUSIN-NECHEMYA . I did not read it yet and take zero responsibility for its content, but I suppose there's probably some interesting tidbits about the convicted individual.

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  25. Apparently the Weberman doc I referred to is also posted @ http://nechemyaweberman.com/

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  26. The history lessons by RaP might have intellectual merit, but are not connected whatsoever to the subject of this thread. It is bizarre to proclaim that someone that falls to his taavos and abuses his privilege of power is somehow derived from Shabtai Zvi or any other philosophical movement. The alternative explanation is that he was a baal taavos, succumbed to them, and tried denying that any violations occurred until proven guilty in court. Why complicate matters? It has nothing to do with the Chassidic movement, not the Baal Shem Tov, nor with any of his students, etc. I personally do not consider Weberman, nor any of the other convicted pedophiles victims of complex philosophical, theoretical, or even theological idealogies. They are simple criminals who break the laws of the land, of the Torah, and of basic morality while blinded by their own yetzer horoh.

    If you have a bone to pick with chassidism, go ahead and write a guest post to address that subject. To me, it is clear (though painfully), that the chassidic movement was intended to help Yidden build an internal existence of Shivisi Hashem Linegdi Somid, and this was moderately successful for many years. Today, this has deteriorated into a charade of external trappings, while the contents of the levushim of dress, minhagim, practices, and even yeshivos are withering away. To a similar degree, this inner decomposition occurs in the yeshivishe world. It is scary that our leadership is asleep at the switch, and no one is seeking to re-introduce HKB"H to our yeshivos, shuls, and lifestyles.

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    1. Yes, very well put RaP music. But - as usual - RaP himself is onto something. The subject matter should really be addressed in a full-fledged article. Actually, Dr. Michael Salomon, the psychologist, has written an excellent book on the connection between complete fealty to Daas Torah, as that idea is practiced, and child sex abuse. Why child sex abuse among the frum? Its a manifestation of religious extremism, seen in other religions. The list is long. I've now ordered the post-Sabbatean book recommended by RaP. Helbrans in Montreal, convicted of kidnapping in New York, is another nut case.

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  27. There are Gedolim and there are askonim who tend to the material matters of the community. Gedolim respond to questions, but they are not always in a position to go around uprooting the askonim especially today. The issue is not a problem of leadership but a problem with followers who let the askonim run things which depends on the level of the askonim.

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