Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Missing the boat: The Consequences of Rabbinic Leadership failing to deal properly with Abuse

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

The issue of child abuse and reporting abusers has seen welcome dramatic changes in the last few years. 2006 was the watershed with the publication of New York Magazine's "Does the Orthodox Community have a Catholic Church Problem." A few years later the Novominsker Rebbe got up at an Aguda convention  and publicly acknowledged that child abuse is a problem also in  our community. Aguda leader Rabbi Zweibel advanced this momentum forward a few baby steps. He announced that it was permissible to go to the police - as long as there was "raglayim l'davar" as determined by a rabbi. Despite this progress there still lingered over our community the shame of public discussion, the fear of being labeled a moser, and the difficulty of finding a posek who would not only say to go to the police would acknowledge that he gave the psak. 

The dam of filth and nonsense finally broke this year with a series of cases. The Weberman case in Williamsburg. A young lady had the incredible courage to stand up to the entire Satmar community including the rebbe and testify despite strong cross examination - that she had been abused by one of the communities most respected activists. The abuser was convicted and sent to jail. The as yet undetermined guilt or innocence in the Chaim Halpern case in England and the  Nachum Rabinowitz case in Brooklyn have many shaking their heads in disbelief. There is the ongoing persecution of Manny Waks and his family for reporting abuse. The Baruch Leibowitz case in which he was convicted and then released for retrial on a technicality connected to the apparently false charges against Samuel Kellner for extortion. Finally the straw that broke the camel's back was the case of Yosef Kolko in which not only was a child molested but a distinguished rav and talmid chachom and his family was driven out of Lakewood - for going to the police despite being told by poskim that he was obligated to do so by halacha. Distressingly despite Kolko's confession and clear evidence of guilt and his conviction - the rabbis who participated in the lynch mob have not acknowledged their error and apologized.

It is clear that child abuse has reached a critical mass in our awareness. The Kellner case involves a very distinguished talmid chachom - Rav Chaim Flohr. He is a man of great principle and very careful with every chumra - and he supported Kellner's reporting abuse.  It is no longer the Modern Orthodox versus Chareidim. There are Charedi poskim such as Rav Moshe Sternbuch and Rav Dovid Cohen who tell people to go to the police. Even Rav Yisroel Belsky has publicly announced he agrees. That which we didn't dare whisper five years ago, is the subject of public discussion at the Shabbos table, is the basis of articles in frum media and programs in yeshivas and camps and even the subject of an Artscroll book.

So what is missing? What remains to be done?

Unfortunately what we are missing are the rabbis, the community leaders dealing with the issue properly - both according to the halacha and the psychological reality. The rabbis by and large are being dragged along as we see in Lakewood, Boro Park, Williamsburg, England and Australia. The consequence of this foot dragging and fear of taking leadership roles - is that they are  being left behind. They are increasing being viewed as irrelevant for the big issues our lives. The tide has come and yet they insist on staying behind. In the Kolko case there were gedolei Torah who told the father to go to the police - and now they publicly deny it. They are afraid! How can a gadol be afraid to acknowledge what he has poskened? 

As a consequence of their lack of constructive participation in this horrible issue, emunas chachom is being conflicted and diminished - chas v'shalom. You can't cause or even allow a father with a molested child being run out of Lakewood - and retain the respect of the parents who have watched this debacle. You can't have kids molested in the mikve and schools, who know that rabbis are the last ones to confide in about their pain. Rabbis who say not to report abusers to the police can not retain the respect of parents and children who know that many more kids will be molested. Everyone except the rabbis know that they have no power to stop a pedophile.

27 comments :

  1. The silent majority of Lakewoods Jews have huge Respect for Rabbi S. and feal teriible about what happend. Many are scared of a few bullies and laud mouth's. Most beliveid kolko was guilty, although we all supported his right to get his day in court and have a fair trial.

    It seems pretty clear that Rav Moshe feinstein had a major problem with mesirah in the US.
    However he was mattir to go to police in cases were people need protection from an induvidual, therfore every case is diffrent, YOu have to check by every case if there is a threat to socioty with this guy around ? if we have a way to protect society from molesters with out sending them to jail. according to Rav moshe it would be Mesirah. the torah was never matir a person to take revenge or get justice etc . sadly the anti abuse movement is all about revenge etc . and for that we dont have a heter to go to athorities.
    SO in the kolko case many believed that although he was guilty , there are other ways to keep him away from children . and putting him to jail for 60 years was not neccesary and therefore ossur.

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    1. You are correct that Rav Moshe Feinstein was machmir concerning mesira - however he clearly permits it when there is mandated reporting - which is the case in New Jersey

      Igros Moshe (O.C. 5 9.11): In sum, it is prohibited to report a thief or one who damages property to the police. The case of R’ Eleazar ben R’ Shimon (B.M. 83a) is not a contradiction as is explained by the Beis Yosef (C.M. 388). That is because the case such as R’ Eleazar is different and it is permitted to report thieves since it was authorized by the king. This is also mentioned by the Rashba.

      Please tell me about the ways rabbis have to keep molesters away from children?! The halacha is clear that when a person reports someone because he is a rodef- there is no concern for what happens to him -this is clearly stated in the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and other places.

      Minchas Yitzchok (8:148): Even though halacha prohibits causing a Jew to be given bodily or financially to the secular justice system, nevertheless a Jew who endangers other people is not included in this prohibition. This is explicitly stated by the Rambam (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:11) and Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 388:12): “All those who disturb the community and cause it distress it is permitted to give them over to the secular government to be punished whether by beating, imprisonment or fines…” It is obvious that all those who drive carelessly and in a wild manner, endanger the lives of all those are near them. We in fact have been commanded to avoid danger and to prevent it from happening. Perhaps by taking actions against these drivers it will prevent danger and reduce the number of accidents. … Therefore those who are involved in this mitzva of life saving should first go to beis din and to present their claims before them….

      Rambam (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:11): … Similarly all those who distress the community and harm it – it is permitted to hand them over to the non Jewish government to be beaten, imprisoned and punished. However if the person is only disturbing an individual and not the community – it is prohibited to hand him over. It is also prohibited to cause the loss of the property of the moser – even though it permitted to cause the death of the moser himself. That is because his property belongs to his heirs.

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    2. Furthermore the need to be carefully of not doing more to the rodef then is needed to stop him - does not apply to the victim or family of the victim.

      Shevus Yaakov (2:187): … It is explicitly expressed from his words that the pursued himself is permitted to killed his pursuer (rodef) even if he can save himself by wounding one of the pursuer’s limbs. Even stronger than this the Levush Orah writes there that if the pursuer comes to kill his wife and children he is also allowed to kill the rodef and it is not necessary to stop him by wounding one of the pursuer’s limbs. It is this last point that the Tzeida L’Derech disagrees but not on the issue that the pursuer himself can kill the pursuer without having to seek a less method of stopping him. This also indicates that he agrees with the view of the R’am and this makes sense.
      Maharach Ohr Zarua (#142): … Therefore it would appear that while the victim of the beating is still angry at his assailant and he hasn’t calmed down by complaining to the secular authorities and he can not restrain himself from taking revenge – either the victim himself or his relatives who are close to him - as a result I am afraid that the perpetrator already has become wicked and that it is a minor thing in his eyes to beat him again and this will lead to murder. It is therefore not only the victim who is allowed to file a complaint with the secular authorities, but it is in fact a mitzva for everyone to report to the judge that Reuven hit Shimon. Therefore those who are filled with rage should report the crime to the secular authorities so the situation will not escalate. And if this reporting to the secular authorities leads to the judge taking advantage of the perpetrator and taking away all his money – than the informer is exempt. Because if he isn’t exempt then no person will attempt to save his fellow man from the assaulter.
      Rav Moshe Halberstam (Yeschurun 15): We see in the Mishna LeMelech (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:10) who brings commentary that the law that if it is possible to stop the pursuer by injuring one of his limits only applies to third parties but the pursued himself is able to kill him freely even if he could have saved himself by damages one of the pursuers limbs…Thus it is proven that the relatives of the pursuer (rodef) are in fact the pursued themselves and they are the closest to the obligation and mitzva to stop the rodef from perpetrating his evil designs on them…

      Taz (C.M. 421:13):… So when he did stop the assailant it was good and he did a mitzva. Nevertheless it would seem that there is a distinction to be made. Beating up an assailant who hit a Jew is not exempt unless it is totally clear that he couldn’t save the victim in another manner. In contrast regarding a relative it is not necessary to be so careful. That means that even when it is not clear that there was an alternative it is permitted because a relative is like the person himself or herself. Even though it says in simon 4 that a person is not exempt if he could stop the assailant without giving him a beating but that is concerned with saving money. However here we are dealing with saving a relative who is being beaten and that is like someone is beating you. In such a case even if there is a doubt whether hitting the other person is needed to save yourself it is permitted. This distinction of self and relatives versus others can be perceived in the Rosh (Bava Kama 3:13) and the Tur (421:20). They say concerning a relative they say the reason for beating the assailant is to save the relative. In contrast when saving another Jew there is no exemption unless it is absolutely certain that there is no other way of saving him. In contrast with saving a relative there is no need to be so certain and it is not needed to be absolutely certain there is no other way of saving him because a relative is like oneself.

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    3. Just because you know someone has a yezer horah to be meanis children or anyone else, he does not have a din rodef. i belive a rodef is someone who is like" harodef achar hazochar neten lahtziloh binafshow" so yes when we have a clear threat, maybe we can apply this halochoh but if we can contain him,we are not allowed to do anything more to him. as for the victim not having to try to stop him, and can kill yes, thats when he is running after him. but an hour later he is like anyone else. I think going back to yeshiva and learing some sugias beiyun whould help a little

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    4. HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!

      Kolko was offered many many opportunities to settle this without a long jail sentence, he rejected every single one. He wanted to go back to TEACHING!!

      Both before and after the father went to the DA his objective was one thing and one thing only, protect our community!

      The sad truth is that people that defended kolko (like you apparently) did him the biggest injustice. Until he realized he wasn't going to get away with it, he resisted everything. Unfortunately, that realization didn't come for three years, three witnesses (he confessed before the other four witnesses testified) and two more victims coming forward.

      Had he been willing to accept a few sensible safeguards, he would have a life, saved his family from the great shame, and our "heilegeh" community would not had this great "kitrug".

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    5. While I don't disagree with the post, all this begs the question... what does "Daas Torah" mean to you?

      You write "As a consequence of their lack of constructive participation in this horrible issue, emunas chachom is being conflicted and diminished - chas v'shalom".

      It is interesting that you use the term "Emunas Chachamim" and not "Daas Torah"... even the name of your blog seems to indicate that you agree with this concept of "Daas Torah". So, from your perspective, is it only "Daas Torah" when we agree with what they say, but when Rabbanim/Gedolim say things that we disagree with it somehow ceases to be "Daas Torah"?

      So what do you mean by "Daas Torah"?

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    7. Lakewood JewJune 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Just because you know someone has a yezer horah to be meanis children or anyone else, he does not have a din rodef. i belive a rodef is someone who is like" harodef achar hazochar neten lahtziloh binafshow" so yes when we have a clear threat, maybe we can apply this halochoh but if we can contain him,we are not allowed to do anything more to him. as for the victim not having to try to stop him, and can kill yes, thats when he is running after him. but an hour later he is like anyone else. I think going back to yeshiva and learing some sugias beiyun whould help a little
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      You are totally wrong and you simple don't understand how ignorant you are of both halacha and metzius. You are a wonderful example of someone who doesn't know what he is talking about but is articulate in expressing it. A peodphile is not someone is "has a yetzer harah to be mean to children or anyone else". Did you ever try reading anything about pedophilia. Are you aware that Rav Eliashiv considers sexual abuse as destroying the person i.e., pikuach nefesh. Are you familiar with the sugya in Gittin 7a as explained by the Chasam Sofer?

      Chasam Sofer (Gittin 7a): Mar Ukva said that there are people who are irritating me [verbal – Rashi]. … Even though it was only verbal abuse, nevertheless if it wasn’t for the fact that Mar Ukva could save himself from this abuse by arising early and going to the study hall - it would seem that he would have been allowed to report his abusers to the government… We see from Rashi’s explanation that it was clear that if Mar Ukva had been abused monetarily or by forgery he would have been permitted to report his abusers to the government and he would not have been required to go to the study hall. That is simply because if a person comes to kill you than you have every right to kill them first. This is also the ruling of the Rambam (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 9:11): “And similarly if a person abuses and harasses the community it is permitted to give him over to the secular government to be beaten… In contrast if only an individual is being harassed it is prohibited to report him…” This would indicate that the Rambam is referring to verbal harassment. Therefore if the assailant caused an actual loss it would be permitted to report him to the government so that he doesn’t cause further loss. This is the ruling of the Rema (C.M. 388:9) and it is also the ruling of the Shach (C.M. 388:59-60). However while it seems obvious to the Rambam that if one verbal harasses a community it is permitted to report him to the government – the commentaries don’t show the sources of this ruling. It must be that this ruling is learned from this gemora. It would seem that if hadn’t been for the fact that Mar Ukva had a solution to the harassment problem by going to the study hall it would have been permitted to report his assailants to the secular government. However this solution is only relevant for an individual. But it is not relevant for the community and therefore it is clearly permitted to report the community nuisance to the government. Also see the Pnei Yehoshua’s discussion of this gemora where he says that the solution of going to the study hall and complaining to G d about the assailant is not correct if one can stop the harasser in other ways. However he says if the harassers cause him to waste time from Torah and prayer because of his upset he can stop the harassers in any manner…

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    8. Please look at Rav Moshe Halberstam in Yeshurun 15 page 643 - It should be on Hebrew Books. He is just part of the teshuva - but he cites the above Chasam Sofer


      To clarify this issue we need to study Gittin (7a) which describes how Mar Ukva was being harassed by Geniva and he asked R’ Eliezar whether he could hand Geneiva over to the secular government. R’ Eleazar told him to be silent and by studying Torah, G d would take off his tormenter. Geneiva was in fact soon after arrested by the government
      According to this gemora it seems to state explicitly that there is no allowance for someone to inform on another or complain to the government – even if he is being severely afflicted and tormented.
      Rambam(Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:9) also rules that way. He says, “It is prohibited to give a Jew into the hands of non Jews either physically or monetarily. Even if the person is wicked and a sinner and even if he harasses and torments him. Whoever hands a Jew over to non Jews – physically or financially has no portion in the World to Come.”
      The source of the Rambam’s words is found in Rosh HaShanna (17a)… However if you look a bit further in the Rambam(Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:11) he writes, “And similarly all those who harass the community and torment them – it is permitted to hand them over to the non Jews to be beaten or imprisoned and punished. However if they only torment an individual it is prohibited to hand them over.”
      Thus we see a major distinction in the Rambam. When an individual is tormented it is not permitted to hand over the tormenters but when a community is tormented it is permitted.
      There has been much discussion as to why the Rambam makes this surprising distinction. The words of the Chasam Sofer on this matter are well known. He writes that the Rambam learned this distinction from the advice that R’ Eliezar gave to Mar Ukva not to report his tormenter - but rather he should study Torah day and night in the beis medrash. This advice is obviously only relevant for an individual…The Chasam’s Sofer’s son – the Ksav Sofer – comes to a similar conclusion based on R ‘Eliezar telling Mar Ukva not to go to the authorities as long as his tormenter was before him. …
      It seem obvious to me that the Rambam was troubled as to why the halacha would not allow informing the government against someone who was a harasser and tormenter. We know that it is a great mitzva to prevent deeds and actions - in whatever manner possible - that cause suffering to others. Therefore when there is no other way to stop the suffering except by handing the tormenter to the government then why isn’t this done?
      The fact is that the Rambam thought that it should be permitted to hand over all tormenters to the government. However this gemora (Gittin 7a) explicitly says that it is not permitted for an individual to report his tormentor to the government – and that is why we are forced to prohibit it. In contrast concerning harassing a community we don’t find that it is explicitly prohibited by the gemora and consequently it would be permitted. In these types of situations we say that where it is explicitly prohibits it then that is the law but where it is not explicitly prohibited than we don’t assume that it is since our reasoning tells us that it is permitted.
      An interesting insight is mentioned in Geresh Yerachim on Gittin (7a). He deduces from the fact that Rashi says that the tormentor was harassing and abusing Mar Ukva verbally. This is explained as meaning that if the tormenter had been threatening Mar Ukva’s life then it would have definitely been permitted to turn him over to the government… Thus the advice that Rabbi Eliezer is understood to mean that only if the tormenter is standing there to oppose him then he should handle it by remaining silent. However if the tormenter threatens his life causes him actual pain then it would be permitted to turn him over to the government. The Pnei Yehoshua on this gemora gives a similar explanation…

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    9. Rav Eliashiv (Nishmas Avraham 4:208-211): Rav Eliashiv told me that there is in fact no difference in halacha between a teacher who is molesting boys or girls since in both cases we are talking about severe mental damages and danger to the public. He cited the Beis Yosef who cites the Rashba regarding R’ Eliezar ben Rav Shimon (Bava Metzia 83a) who reported thieves to the government… Regarding this Rav Eliashiv said that we learn from this that surely in the case of child abuse which is more severe then theft that it would be permitted to first report it to the principal of the school and if he doesn’t do anything to report the matter to the police even in the Diaspora.

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    10. Torah TruthJune 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      While I don't disagree with the post, all this begs the question... what does "Daas Torah" mean to you?
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      This question has been raised recently - I think it was even you who asked it. Daas Torah does not mean infalliblity. It means a point of view that is informed by Torah. Rav Elchonon Wasserman notes that some people's views are informed 100% by Torah and others less so. As I mentioned before Rav Dovid Feinstein told me that his father never claimed that he should be listened to because he had daas Torah. He said Rav Moshe felt that the basis of his authority was whether you accepted his sevora. Thus two people can have conflicting views that are both Daas Torah. Read the Introduction to the Igros Moshe. He says eilu v'eilu can apply to views that are wrong in relationship to the Torah that was given at Sinai. however since the talmid chachom has worked it out to the best of his abilities is in the cateogry of eilu v'eilu.

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    11. I would like to further this line of thought but I don't want to derail the central point of the discussion here. Perhaps you can start another post for this topic. (no need to post my reply).. Thx

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    12. Torah Truth why don't you write a guest post on the issues you want discussed. I really am swamped with what I am working on now and realistically I won't get to the topic for a long time. You are correct that it a distraction from what I wrote about.

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  2. Reb Doniel I find your humility, refreshing and amusing. You opened your post with a quote from Shakespeare. Fifteen minutes later, in response to a comment, you shoot out two long, well referenced Tshuvos!!!

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    1. concerned - there is no humility involved. The quote from Shakespeare is one of the few I remembered from high school. It expresses very well the importance of critical moments and timing and it creates a very powerful image.

      Regarding the rabbinic material - I literally have it all on my fingertips because these are citations from the 500 pages of volume II of Child and Domestic abuse which I have on my computer.

      In addition I have access to the 300 pages of volume I which includes much of the psychological reality of abuse

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  3. Here's the problem - for the last 3 generations or so the Chareidi community has been inculcated with the belief that their leadership has "Daas Torah", are infallible and are the only source of true information on any source, including this.
    Now suddenly it becomes evident that this belief is incorrect. A thorough knowledge of Shulchan Aruch does not make you an expert on child abuse. But that begs the next question: what else doesn't it make you an expert on? Parent-child issues? Marital issues? Financial issues? And suddenly the question is asked instead: outside of narrow halachic shailos, what are the Gedolim expert on?
    How can you expect the leadership and its supporters to simply give up their privileged position without a fight? You said that dam has broken but the leadership is still standing in the rising waters and saying "Well it sure is dry over here!"

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    1. Garnel, I went to Lakewood branch yeshivos for years and years and never once heard any Rebbe say that gedolim are infallible or that they are the only source of true information. The left loves to repeat that canard - it's nonsense.

      We were taught that Gedolim view things through the lens of Torah and have a clearer picture of what the Torah wants - not infallibility. They also don't have personal 'negiyus' when viewing things. They may also have siyata dishmaya. But Gittin 56 is clear that Hashem can make Gedolim (Rav Yochanan Ben Zakkai in that case) err.

      Furthermore, not every Rosh Yeshiva or talmud chacham is a gadol. There were few who had pure daas torah in last generation (according to a letter by Rav Hutner found in the Rav Sherer bio), kal vechomer in this one.

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    2. Who ever said that Daas Torah equals infallibility? All it means is an opinion based solely on the Torah.

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  4. Mighty Garnel Ironheart said,

    "outside of narrow halachic shailos, what are the Gedolim expert on?"

    The Torah is complete and provides expertise in every aspect of life and ideally gedolei Torah should be the experts over everything.

    Should we trust Leftist deluded Peres to provide decent leadership to Israel. How about weak willed Netanyahu? Can we trust him not to forfeit the country for short term foolish political goals?

    What area of life does the Torah not deal with that so called experts are better equipped to provide answers?

    America now has the lowest percentage of business experienced executives probably in its entire history. Should we trust these Liberal fools to do anything but destroy the country?

    True gedolei are not perfect but there is no area that I can think of where they can't provide true leadership. The Chazon Ish used to give guidance to highly experienced surgeons.

    There are problems today but you have to find the Gedolim that have achieved Torah excellence in a particular area but to abandon ship to secular so called experts is definitely not the right approach.

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    1. I am not a basher of gedolim but you're missing the point. Gedolim have had every opportunity to provide leadership in recent situations - an opportunity which R' Sternbuch seems not to have squandered. R' Eidensohn is arguing that there is a leadership crisis right now. What leadership are the readers of this blog not following? Calling the father of the victim of Kolko a moser? Or the girl molested by Weberman a zona?

      The hamon am welcome quality leadership but it is difficult to confuse what is going on today with the Chazon Ish providing advice to surgeons.

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  5. "the Igros Moshe... says eilu v'eilu can apply to views that are wrong in relationship to the Torah that was given at Sinai. [H]owever since the talmid chachom has worked it out to the best of his abilities is in the cateogry of eilu v'eilu."

    A concrete example: from a Torah perspective, if Kolko was innocent, would Rav Belsky's (clearly a talmid chacham) attack on Rabbi S. have been justified? I suspect it would have been.

    As it stands, either Rav Belsky knows something we don't (which is what he claims) or something is preventing him from seeing the reality. Did he "work it out to the best of his abilities?" If he has the facts wrong, did he fail in his duty to ascertain the facts? Can we say eilu v'eilu? If we cannot, does that mean we must be guided by that inability in our reliance on the OU's hechsher as long as he is there?

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  6. To Tzoorba

    There is precedence for areas where the rabbanim have no expertise, i.e. Refuah the issue at hand, Military as R' Ovadia Yosef mentioned on whether to return land for peace. Indeed, the Torah insists to go to a Doctor. The fact remains that these molestors keep on repeating and causing havoc amongst the talmidim, and were not able to curb the problem. As a matter of fact, they add salt to the wounds, by intimidating the victims, and their families, yordim imo(m) lechayov while our dear and precious children are dying right in front of our eyes, ve'ein potze pe umtzaftzef. Our hands are full of cases, from the Webermans', to the BML's', to the Kolkos', ..., and the pattern goes on and on. These Enablers and intimidators are backed by these Deot, have absolutely no track record of saving nefesh achat beYisrael. We had R'L the Kletsky child that they deny his rotzeach has given notice to society that he is up to no good, only to cry crocodile tears, yadenu lo.... and now the blood is all over the place. More so, all these alleged tricks of taking the raglayim to them first before alerting the authorities as well as accusing of mesira, is nothing more then chachamim lehera intended to foil the true Refuah, and let the Baal Davar go Scott free. The best proof min haTorah is the issue of Sorer Umoreh, since he is used to his ways and ===> addiction of consuming tartimar bassar and chatzi log yayin, he will at all cost go and murder so as to obtain it. Therefore, rather Yamut zakay, veAl yamut chayav. In our case of Molestors, not only is he addicted, but is a mued umumer with already a track record. It is high time to fess up, as noted asher Yechta nassi, ayin rashi, ashrei hador...
    Till they come up with a better solution, this will do.
    Avinu Malkenu asse lemaan tinoket shel Beit Raban.There is precedence for areas where the rabbanim have no expertise, i.e. Refuah the issue at hand, Military as R' Ovadia Yosef mentioned on whether to return land for peace. Indeed, the Torah insists to go to a Doctor. The fact remains that these molestors keep on repeating and causing havoc amongst the talmidim, and were not able to curb the problem. As a matter of fact, they add salt to the wounds, by intimidating the victims, and their families, yordim imo(m) lechayov while our dear and precious children are dying right in front of our eyes, ve'ein potze pe umtzaftzef. Our hands are full of cases, from the Webermans', to the BML's', to the Kolkos', ..., and the pattern goes on and on. These Enablers and intimidators are backed by these Deot, have absolutely no track record of saving nefesh achat beYisrael. We had R'L the Kletsky child that they deny his rotzeach has given notice to society that he is up to no good, only to cry crocodile tears, yadenu lo.... and now the blood is all over the place. More so, all these alleged tricks of taking the raglayim to them first before alerting the authorities as well as accusing of mesira, is nothing more then chachamim lehera intended to foil the true Refuah, and let the Baal Davar go Scott free. The best proof min haTorah is the issue of Sorer Umoreh, since he is used to his ways and ===> addiction of consuming tartimar bassar and chatzi log yayin, he will at all cost go and murder so as to obtain it. Therefore, rather Yamut zakay, veAl yamut chayav. In our case of Molestors, not only is he addicted, but is a mued umumer with already a track record. It is high time to fess up, as noted asher Yechta nassi, ayin rashi, ashrei hador...
    Till they come up with a better solution, this will do.
    Avinu Malkenu asse lemaan tinoket shel Beit Raban.

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  7. Mighty Garnel,
    I think you have it wrong. The HALACHIK approach is to consult experts in areas which are not in Shas and Poskim. The best example is health. The best health (at the time) is in Shas and Rambam, but it doesn't apply today. What applies is using the best available, and THAT Tzoorba is Secular, unless your experts in Health or whatever happen to ALSO be Poskim.

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  8. In some important ways, however, it is still the Modern Orthodox against the Chareidim. This is because of their differing understandings of Emunat Chachamim. Whereas the Chareidi world generally understands Emunat Chachamin to apply to "the gedolim", the Centrist Orthodox world either ignores this concept, or else (more appropriately) sees it as applying to a talmid chacham of the individual's choice, rather than those who are declared the gedolei hador. Thus, the theological and halachic problems that are generated by the lack of action on the part of so many gedolim will not necessarily bother (on a theological level) someone from the Centrist Orthodox community, who sees no requirement to follow gedolim A, B, and C, but will create a major religious crisis for someone who is Chareidi and who is morally opposed to silence but is religiously required to follow those who are silent. There is accordingly more reason - a theological imperative - to sweep the issue under the rug, to ignore it, to pretend that it's being dealt with when it is, in fact, being ignored.

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  9. I can't believe we are still having this discussion, after all the constant mistakes, rishes, gaava, unwillingness to own up to mistakes etc in the area of sexual abuse by the Ra-bonim. People should have a little humility and shut up at a certain point, even if they think they sound right.

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  11. My questions are:

    Who decides who is a Rav and who is a moser?

    Are you a big Godal because you have many followers by succcesfully surounding yourself with enforcers of your agenda?

    Doesn't every person need to daven directly to Hashem for guidence on all these issues? And only get advice and follow a Rav who is sick to his stomach that molestors are devestating our kids and does something about it?

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