Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kolko trial: Why the Lakewood establishment is scared

Yosef Kolko
Regarding the trial - there are two factors that are being directly challenged. One is the severe intimidation by the Lakewood establishment. The letters I received about Kolko from Lakewood mentioned that their identify needed to be kept secret or else they would be ruined in Lakewood. It is not just the askanim but the rabbis who threaten all those who are different. The second issue is that this time around the victim's father has clear unambiguous halachic support for his position and is well aware of it.

At the end of the trial it will be clear that halacha has been subverted for the sake of power over the community. There is no question that Kolko will be found guilty and thus these two issues will be the point of focus.

Lakewood in general is in for some significant surprises and shocks. In contrast to the Weberman case, the victim family is highly respected and there is absolutely no question of credibility - beside the fact that Kolko has allegedly already confessed to the social worker who will be required to testify. There are also respected rabbis who will testify in support of the victim's father - against the Lakewood establishment. There are also clear halachic rulings in this case by gedolim that the Lakewood establishment does not want publicized - but which will be publicized. 

Consequently Lakewood image of being the Jews who are truest to Torah will be tarnished. Their moral authority will be severely questioned and they are scared. I don't expect you to believe any of this but just keep it in mind when the trial is over and the dust settles. There will be no attempt to deliberately besmirch Lakewood - but there will be a clear revelation of the truth. That is what they are afraid of! 

31 comments:

  1. אמת מארץ תצמחMay 7, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    It is grossly unfortunate that political motives are prevailing over halacha, yashrus, and morality. This political corruption that many have learned to tolerate will B'ezras Hashem lose its acceptance. For anyone who knew R' Aharon or R' Schneur ZT"L, there would have been no wiggle room for this type of leadership. The "image" should never have been the goal, though precisely that is bound to happen when the true goals of Torah Judaism such as Yir'as Hashem and Ahavas Hashem are relegated to incidental status while the trivial value of image is permitted to reign supreme.

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  2. Right Now There is another Legal Battle brewing in Lakewood Involving Salamon Suites Hotel Which is Owned By Reb Moshe Salamon a Pious Belzer Chosid Who at one Time Worked as a Cook for BMG and Did BMG many Favors by allowing BMG Bochurim to sleep there Free in The Fox Hotel.R Moshe Salamon Recently Sufferd a Stroke Due To all The stress of Having His Business Taken From Him Hoefully This will Be Resolved Halachicaly In Bais Din soon

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  3. "Consequently Lakewood image of being the Jews who are truest to Torah will be tarnished. Their moral authority will be severely questioned and they are scared."

    This whole premise is false, that there's one best way to be a Jew. Totally false. If Lakewood has been operating under this premise, then their demise is inevitable, like the Charedim in Eretz Yisrael. There is no ONE best way to be a Jew.

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  4. unless some of these so called ra-bonim and rosh hayeshivos,will be arrested and convicted and jailed for the crime of obstruction of justice,nothing will change in our communities,and our precious young children will be targets of these vile sexual predators who know that the rabbonim will help to protect them from prosecution,
    this is the a perfect example what CHAZAL meant when they said "LAV ACHBARAH GANVEI ELLA CHUREI GANVA

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  5. respected rabbis versus the establishment? is this some sort of class war? in this litvish, yeshiva based world, who is the establishment? how does one be a respected rabbi who is not part of the establishment?

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    1. To be a respected Rabbi who is not part of the establishment you have to be honest at all costs, even if it means saying things that the rich people don't like. In the old days it meant being makpid on mechitzas in shuls, even if it meant you were not going to be liked by everybody as a result.

      To be part of the establishment means to go with the flow, don't change the status-quot.

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  6. Sorry Let me vent a little over here!May 7, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    I happened to personaly know the victims father who was definatly one of the greatest Talmidei Chachomim in Lakewood. It is horrible that his name was disclosed to the entire public in lakewood. He was a Rov & a rosh Chaburah in BMG. Not only did his kid suffer irrepairable damage, he was forced out of town.
    He nevertheless feels he has been guided by halacha & Loi Soguru mipnei ish applies here.
    I don't know the Bochur personaly, although I somewhat knew who his father is.I feel bad for him being an alter bochur which is a very unaccepted situation in our community, if he did what he is said to have done & admitted, I feel bad for him being sick. How do we know it wasn't done unto him as a kid?

    Between you & me, the verdict is never innocent, at best not guilty beyond reasonable doubt. His bleak shidduch chances, have become bleaker, and jail time won't help him.
    I've heard had he followed beis din he would have never been in court, his shidduch may have come through this story a girl with a little package.
    What bothers me is, the Rabbonim & askonim who are aware of his retracted admission (if true) know he has little chance in court, why have they spent so much Tzibur money on so called Pidyon Shevuyim. ( Which to my readings of Shulchan Aruch it is at most tzedokoh, not pidyon shevuyim.)I believe by proping him not to plead guilty, show remouse & take a plea bargain.( Which I have heard that the father says if he would plead guilty, he personaly would ask the judge not to give him jail, rather send him for help & get him on the s register.)They are in for a fight & ego power to smash the father , the kid victim,and the entire family,and save the perp, which will very likely send the perp to the gallows.
    I must admit that there are various opinions on mesirah,weather every perp is roidef or not according to the Torah. However if someone has psak to go to court & that the perp is a roidef what right do other Rabbonim who don't know the whole story to persecute the victim & family?
    Finaly where will it get them?
    Are they really helping the perp?
    Thanks for giving me the platform to vent.

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    1. Please tell me I am reading this wrong... You are worried about the alleged molester's shidduch chances??? wow... just wow... I don't even know how to respond to that except... Refuah Shlema

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  7. Cutting through all the noise, it seems to me that we have here a perfectly legitimate halachic argument. Some rabbis think that to publicize a molester you need proper testimony, while others think you don't. Each fights the good fight. Why drag politics into it?

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    1. could you please describe how to distinguish between "fighting the good fight" and a political fight?

      If Rabbi X goes to the police based on the many sources I cite in my books on abuse and Rabbi Y responds by having Rabbi X's children kicked out of all schools in the community and has him ostracized and publicly denounced until Rabbi X is forced to move to a different community - is that "the good fight" or is that politics?

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    2. If a rabbi holds that going to the police on the basis of insufficient testimony is messirah, he has the right to persecute those who do so.

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    3. I assume then that you would calmly stand by while Rabbi X kills Rabbi Y as a rodef?

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  8. All molesters should be publicized. Most of us in the various communities know who they are. Victims must go to the police and file a report, the police will then investigate the claims before any information is made public. Where I come from there have been cover-ups in the past because victims went to the Rabbis. This is not acceptable, children are being hurt, I am no expert in Torah but I cannot believe that our religion and our laws would allow innocent Jewish children, our future to be hurt in any way shape or form. I went off the derech at 12 one second after he abused me the first time.
    I went to the police after suffering in my mind for 40 years. The Rabbi that molested me ran around freely while everyone knew what he was all about, no one ever did anything. I will name him because he was arrested last August after I filed the first report, presently there are multiple victims and multiple charges. His name is Heshi Nussbaum and what I did is the way to expose these people hurting our children.

    Survivor of HN

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  9. I think it comes down to money. Any Yeshiva is afraid to lose funding if it is revealed that children are abused or molested. So they just pretend everybody is a big tzadik so that they don't go out of business.

    What would you do if you were in your 30's or 40's or 50's and you had a big family to support and you had no ability or desire to earn a living other than schnoring because people think you're a tzadik and you find out somebody in your organization was a Rasha? Would you go public with the information and risk your own reputation and your Parnasa?

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  10. Same Vent as aboveMay 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I don't think it could be called a political fight.
    There is a famous (to others infamous) psak from R' Sheinberg Z"L, that to be a roidef the Abuser must have done mishkavei Isha, ie Anal Sex, from what I have heard, although I have no way to confirm it,loi nechshedu yisroel al mishkav zocher refers to anal sex, which almost never occurs in the heimishe child abuse situations.
    I don't know the specifics of this case, but my take is that didn't happen over here. Therefore there are many poskim who may agree the abuser is sick a mazik & probably a rosha, but that doesn't permit mesirah. However, they may agree that the perp should be kept away from children, and should pay damages according to a psak din.
    Others are of the opinion seeing all sexual abuse, causes lifetime problems which could lead to never being able to marry (death of generations that can't be). Drug alchol abuse, abusing others & suicide, besides death of the neshama, that the abuser is indeed a roidef, and therfore must be repoted to the police.
    There are big poskim on both sides of the fence,although my gutt feeling favors the later psak, I am not the one to fight many other gedolei poskim who hold like the first psak.
    I don't think the fight is political, seeing those who hold like the first psak concider the informer to be the roidef, & hold nitan lehatziloh benafshoi.
    What bothers me is that even those who hold of the former psak, cannot concider a parent/victim who was guided by poskim who hold of the later psak a roidef. At most they could hold the poskim roidfim. Even that I doubt is true, because if someone holds a different opinion than thou even if it is lets say in hilchos shabbos (skilah) he isn't a rosha if yesh loi al mi lismoich. This is where our community is plagued in control. People who have power are becomming tyrents, and trying to force their way on others. Free thought or going by another poisek is becomming banned. That is our real problem, the source of all of our problems. IMHO

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    1. אמת מארץ תצמחMay 7, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      I agree with most of your vent. There is one element missing from the discussion. The molester is not just a rodeif, but also a מצער את הציבור. As a menace to the public, which need not qualify as משכב זכר, the problem of mesira is lifted. As such, even if the serial molester who has never engaged in משכב זכר but has committed the abuse in multiple other ways, thus damaging multiple individuals, he would be eligible for reporting to authorities. I take strong issue with the psak from Rav Sheinberg Z"L, as I feel it was not based on thorough investigation of the subject matter. But even if we were to buy into it, reporting should still not be a problem.

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  11. I know we don't have nevuah these days (so far), but we sorely need leaders with the Torah outlook and courage of the Neviim.

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    1. Nah, we just need parents who are willing to call the police, and a public with the guts not to turn their back on their friend, relative, neighbor, acquaintance for doing so. No leaders are needed here at all, just responsible parenting and citizenship.

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    2. But the leaders should help victims and not get in the way, and keep their followers out of the way.

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  12. Why did DA Charles Hynes compare the bully tactics used against victims and their families to the Mafia- and Hynes is no anti-Semite. Because its true. What gives BMG the right to run its own "parralel justice system"? What country to they live in? Yona Weinberg was convicted of molesting two boys in Brooklyn- and there was not a word of support for the victims or their families. http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/judge_orthodox_protect_abusers_not_victims

    The statements of the judge in that trial should be memorialized as one of the most shameful social commentaries about what the frum community has become- at the behest and direction of its gedolim, askanim, and community leaders. Time will tell if we can ever recover from the destroyers within our own midst

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  13. I don't understand the halachic draying. Lakewood considered Maran Rav Elyashiv the posek hador. He did not make distinctions between d'oiraisa mishcav zochor and lesser forms of molestation. (BTW the charges includ 4 felony counts of "penetration"). There clearly was raglayim l'davar confirmed for the hanhalah by the reports of confessions. So how can there possibly be an argument for considering him a moser. The rav from Brooklyn who defends Kolkos took a position based on talking to Yosef Kolko without ever talking to the other side. How can a respected posek dare call someone a moser without even knowing the metsius of the case?

    In the end if you want to claim to be following torah you first have to decide whether you are guided by the true facts or the politics of the hanhalah. Unfortunately the two diverge in this case.

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  14. Rabbi Eidinsohn, can you be more explicit? Who is 'the establishment' that's frightened here? BMG? R Matisyahu? R Malkiel? Your post as is reads more like a vague 'someone-is-out-get-us' conspiracy.

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    1. Lakewood is run by Rav Malkiel, and his brother, the CEO of BMG, Aaron Kotler. Almost everyone else, whatever their stature, defers to those two. Even members of the Moetzes who were appalled were told not to mix in, and they obliged. R. Matisyahu Solomon is a little better, but push comes to shove he backs off when the Kotler brothers give him orders. The other Roshei Yeshiva (who are all grandchildren yorshim of R. Aaron Kotler zatzal)get a share of the income but stay out of the politics.

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    2. latest i hear (which means it may not necessarily be fact)is reb matisyahu shlita is backing the witnesses to testify against the perp but r am'k is against witnesses testifying in court as mesira
      reb shloyma miller paskened witness may testify
      the town is rocking/rolling over this
      and we are a dor yosum what should really be done is for 2 rabbonim from both sides should go discuss the issue with reb aron leib shlita and reb nissna karelitz shlita and come out with a clear psak until then politics as usaul

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  15. I don't know. I'm having a really hard time believing that this is about Halacha.
    Somehow, somewhere the Chreidy communities went very very off when it comes to this molestation issue. I don't believe this case is any different then Satmar supporting Weberman, or any other case where the norm is that the establishment supports the perp rather then the victim.
    I don't know why we find this to be the norm, but I'm SURE Torah was not the deciding factor for BMG about who they need to support. The Torah being thrown around now is just to justify/rationalize their position.
    I also find it hard to believe that someone might actually truly believe that BMG's actions were guided by their halachic perspective regarding messirah.

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  16. fordaas:

    I agree with you, this is not about Halacha, it's about control. When you go to the authorities, you take away the control from the Rabbi's and the various organizations. I know there are many good people out there, but they have a fear instilled in them that if they cooperate with victims, they will be thrown out of their shuls, schools, community centers and what appears to scare them the most is that they wont be able to marry their children off. This is not Torah or Halacha.
    When something like this is reported to the Rabbi's and various organizations, they have control which usually equals, shoving it under the carpet. The victims continue to suffer and the molesters continue to thrive and be accepted wherever they go. It's the sad truth. It needs to change.

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    1. I agree with fordaas and Survivor.

      May I add, the biggest loser in this whole discussion are the victims. Everyone is worried about this and that--but the victim (and often their families) is the one having to get up the next morning and deal with the trauma.

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  17. Adam:

    You are right. For 40 years there wasn't a day that went by were I didn't think about it. I never told anybody until I went for therapy starting a year ago. After I went to the police the first time to file the initial report, only then did I tell my parents and siblings and a select few of my most trusted friends. All of which are supporting me 1000%. I overcame one of my obstacles of how people would think of me once they knew. I learned there is no shame in what happened to me. I was only 12 at the time and that 12 year old in me was controlling several aspects of my being, (fear, shame, communication etc) right up to this day.

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  18. I am very impressed with the comments on this post. All very logical. I am a survivor of molestation. What I can tell you is that being that we are so vague with what happened and how we are affected, people dont get what we are dealing with. Survivors either are a. dead, having commited suicide b. off the derech-who believes them? and c. 'normal people' that look okay on the outside but no one knows the hell they endure in their married life-except for their spouse (and therapist)The hell that I went through, and the hell I continue to go through in this process of 'recovery' is not something that words can depict or express.

    Gedolim wouldn't hesitate with a psak about reporting molesters to the police if they realized the irrevocable damage inflicted on pure Neshamos.


    Let's hope that this would be a wake-up call for Lakewood. There are over 700 kids off the derech. What more of a churban do we need?

    The Chillul Hashem is not that world sees a man with a Yarmulka molesting kids. The tremendous Chillul Hashem is that Rabbonim look away from the pain that the victims go thru to protect an 'image' of a community.

    Vchein Lo Ye'aseh!

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  19. The second issue is that this time around the victim's father has clear unambiguous halachic support for his position and is well aware of it.
    I am not sure what this clear support is, but living in Lakewood I have heard of two major Talmidei Chachomim and poskim who have forbidden going to the authorities in this case. I have yet to hear or see someone taking responsibility for a pesak leheter.
    Reb Elyashiv zt"l writes clearly that one must have clear proof, not raglayim ledovor. In this case, the father believed his child. That should not be enough under those standards.

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    1. The child is allowed to go since he saw the whole thing happen to himself. The father is allowed to direct the child.

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