Monday, July 22, 2013

Rabbi Chaim Rapoport explains his views on the Menachem Levy case

Tzedek   Plan to provide my thoughts on the subject next week

See previous post

Rabbi Chaim Rapoport writes:

I have stated my opinion in numerous public forums that paedophiles, as all criminals who constitute a threat to society, should be incarcerated in jail, if necessary – for life, the primary reason being: to protect their potential victims from abuse. I have likewise stated unequivocally that victims and those with knowledge or reasonable suspicion of abuse in the Jewish community must report such cases to the legal authorities in order to ensure that the victims are fully supported, the criminals are penalized and society is protected. I decry those people who exhibit a grotesque lack of sympathy or attempt to belittle the trauma suffered by victims, or, worse still, perversely portray the predators (and their active or passive accomplices) as the victims and cruelly penalise and ostracise victims and their families. I support institutions that are designed to help victims. I myself have been instrumental in setting up support apparatus for victims and have asserted myself to help them in every possible way. Now to the issue at hand:

The case of Mr. Levy and Ms. Goldsobel (both of whom had previously come to me for counseling) went before a Crown Court jury on two occasions. Ultimately verdicts of not guilty on all rape charges and any other charges relating to post-16 activity were entered on the court record. The court was however satisfied that sexual conduct had started before Goldsobel was 16 and that it followed as a matter of law that she could not have consented to that activity, regardless of whether she had been a willing partner. Yet, when sentencing Levy, the judge stated explicitly that he does not constitute a threat to society.

From a Jewish perspective, even if the woman was over the age of 16 when (as the defendant claimed) a long-term consensual sexual affair began, the relationship undoubtedly constituted a transgression of Jewish Law and arguably an ethical misdemeanor. It was in this context that I stated in court that the age of legal consent is somewhat arbitrary, because whether a girl is 15 or 16 does not mitigate the religious misdemeanor and cannot truly be determinant in deciding whether the relationship was exploitative in nature. A clandestine relationship between a 16 or 17 year old girl and a man some ten years her senior may well be exploitative and constitute a breach of trust. Therefore, even according to the defendant’s version of the events, the woman was correct in not allowing the matter to be ignored and when she consulted with me, I offered her empathetic advice, encouragement and pastoral support. It is for this reason that, even before the case came to court, I counseled the defendant on penitential and spiritual ‘rectification’ and prescribed measures for his continuous ethical and religious rehabilitation, including the provision of financial assistance for the sexually offended.[...]

49 comments :

  1. The blog owner has reproduced here, the letter from Rabbi Chaim Rapoport. I would be interested to find out the blog owner's thoughts on this letter?

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  2. It is high time to organize an Assifa in the Biggest Stadiums and apologize to all the victims and their families that have been turned tables unto, bashed, hurt, ostracized, vechol shaar minei pironiyos unjustly, just so to save face for their OWN families, friends and financial supporters. That includes the ENABLERS, INTIMIDATORS, OBSTRUCTORS OF JUSTICE, YORDEI LECHAYEHEM and all their cohorts. And YES, Yadechem shofchu et hadam hazeh, all the leibies, and all the children shenehersu vene'ebdu bidmei chayehem al LO OVEL BEKAPOM, just so that you should look good. Do you think the Oilem is so gullible and stupid and believe a word you say. Look where you're standing with C.H. of UK, or Ber... of Morocco, for just a few. It is not metaher sheretz, more likely toivel vesheretz beyodo. Stop making assifos for banning the Internet where nitgaleh klonchem in the blink of an eye, lav achbara ganvei ela chura ganvei. This has been the best invention since sliced bread. You no more can spill Yiddish blit unchallenged, you are fully accountable, and R' E.... to acknowledge his mistake has been a good start, but much much more is necessary. Tagidu beGASS, tesapru bechutzot Ashkelon, and mend your ways before you bring another mabul and kemahapechas Sdom Vamorah. Eretz al techssi damam. Dmei achinu tzoakim elay min ha'adamah!

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  3. The woman in this case equally needs penitential and spiritual ‘rectification’ and prescribed measures for her continuous ethical and religious rehabilitation, as does her male lover.

    He and she are equally guilty according to Jewish Law.

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    Replies
    1. J J, with all due respect (which I do not believe you deserve), perhaps Mr Levy can now teach her how to repent in the same way that he taught her the 'proper and ethical' way to have sex out of wedlock.

      You would be well advised to be a little more circumspect before passing judgment especially in this case when we are dealing with a child who was abused.

      In english this is called: "blame the victim" and in Dubai you go to jail for being raped.

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    2. 1) She is not a child but rather an adult under Jewish Law.

      2) She needs the same repentance as does he. Neither are qualified to teach the other as such considering they both are guilty of having sex out of wedlock.

      3) A little respect goes a long way.

      4) There are no victims in this case but rather there are perpetrators.

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    3. Let our Dinah GoJuly 23, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      And 'Oh' yes, one more thing B4 we 4 get. See Shemoth 22: 15. Vechi yefateh ish Bessulo....under Torah Law...
      That is 4 birds 4 U in 1 shot. And as for #3 again, Your Honour, with all due respect, I rest my case.








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    4. If you learned Kesubos you would know that the halacha of mefate only applies to a Naara, age 12, and no older. Any girl that is older is considered an adult. If she killed someone, she would be eligible for the death penalty so your refutation is no refutation at all.

      She is an adult in Jewish law but consideration needs to be given to her youth and circumstances but she has her own teshuva to do. At a minimum she should contact a competent and sensitive Rav who would probably tell her to do something very simple such as vidui on Yom Kippur and direct her in what to do.

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    5. LIBI LIBI AL CHALELEIHEMJuly 26, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      @JJ,

      Any tinok shenishbo turns into an Adult. However, the damage has been done, and all rationality is absent. He was 1) Mefateh and a kemesis umadiach 2) Meaness 3) Oiver al Lifnei Iver lo siten michshol, 4) Hoireg et hanefesh veet hanshama veet haguf 5) Megaleh panim baTorah shelo kehalacha, Meayem et hayalda, and on and on. The victim can never recover or completely recover. She has been robbed of her youth, childhood, innocence, peace and freedom, life and all, bonay uvnosay toviim bayam veatem omrim shira??? Where were you when she needed you? And who did you say needs to do Tshuva? Afra lepimaichi.

      Is it a wonder all loose emunat chachamim, go off the derech? Aval ashemim atem, al achotenu asher raitem tzarot nafsha behitchnenah elenu, al ken baah elenu hatzara hazot. Kol kore bamidbar, UBat kol yotze min hashamayim, ad matay meanta leonot mipanay. Shuvu Shuvu Ra Banim shovavim. My heart goes out for all these innocent children. Al ken Tzion bemar tivkeh. How can you go on with life like this??? SHOMU SHAMAYIM!!! BONAY BONAY SHOMEMIM.

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  4. JJ you are an idiot. She was 14. He was 33. And he is not a 'male lover' he is a paedophile and molester.

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    1. She was 15 years old. According to my law books (which is the Torah, if you insist on knowing) she became an adult at 12 years of age.

      And she is the same that he is.

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    2. All of this discussion of Jewish law is making me dizzy. I am sorry and I do not mean to be disrespectful to halachic discussions but I do not care one iota about what "Jewish law" says about this subject. According to "Jewish law", even if she was 12 years old when these shenanigans started it would be considered an adult consensual relationship.

      Let us stop trying to read the fine print in the Shulchan Aruch over these issues because according to Jewish Law the Law of the land is halacha. I for one believe that the laws in most western countries pertaining to this issue are good laws. Older adults who sexually exploit teenagers ( I will even go so far as to say; even the disturbed teenagers who actually make the first come on) should be incarcerated.

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    3. You can't just create halacha by creating laws in the secular government. Would you say that abortion is kosher because it is the law of the land? Intermarrige is kosher because it is the law of the land? Gittin doesn't count because you can get a secular divorce?

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    4. Not a blanket conversion of secular law into halacha. I think it refers to certain types of common practices, eg buying real estate in US is valid halachically, and according to UK law is valid etc. Similarly, if I rent an apartment, the standard deposit might be considered halachically valid etc.
      But an interesting thing would be to apply other laws like health and safety, pollution, environment etc. On the other hand, the secularists should know that there were many torah laws agasint destruction of the environment long before it became fashionable to worry about the environment.

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  5. jj, in lashon haKodesh you call it, "HARATZACHTA VEGAM YARASHTA"?, get it?

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    1. Learn a little Torah my friend and you will go a long way. Torah Law is the law that matters and counts.

      Not your personal feelings.

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    2. My dear friend,

      Let me give it 2 U short n sweet and will go a very long way. My Torah teaches in Devarim 22: 25,26,27
      vei'im basadeh yimtza haish et hanaarah... umess haish ... LEVADO, velana'ara lo sa'ase davar... ki ka'asher yakum ish al reehu URTZACHO NEFESH kein hadavar hazeh.

      And as the good book says, Have Torah, will travel.

      And as the Ra banim turn tables and revictimize the victim when they ask for their help, read on, ...Ki vassadeh metza'ah TZA'AKAH... GEVAALD and GESHRIEN, however, VE'EIN MOSHIA LAH, Kappish! And that is the LAW, the TORAH LAW.
      And if the TORAH counts and matters to you, here is another one 4 U. See Breishis 34:7
      Uvnei yaakov bau min hasadeh keshama'am vayisatzvu ha'anashim vayichar lahem meod, "KI NEVALAH ASSAH VEYISRAEL LISHKAV ESS BAS YAAKOV VECHEIN LO YE'ASSEH!

      So there you have it, kol hatorah kula al regel achat, veidach zil ugmor. Let our Dinah's go. Dinah demalchusse Dinah! So much for OUR TORAH.

      J J, I hope we are on the same line, and U R not from those J4J. Nothing personal.

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  6. No, leave J J alone, he personifies the warped views which are the problem. Better it's out in the open.

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    1. The Torah is not the problem the Torah is the solution. You may not like what the Torah has to say but it is what we go by.

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    2. The Torah says that the law of the land is the law. If the law says that this man should be jailed, then he should be Jailed.

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    3. There is no blanket statement that all the secular laws are binding as Torah laws.

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    4. I did not mean to suggest that secular law is binding regarding personal status and issur ve heter. However do we not recognize the government's right to take taxes, make traffic laws and define the standards between employer and employee?

      Interesting enough in the province of Ontario it is against the law to officially decide and sign on matters pertaining to divorce such as; custodial rights, property division. child support and alimony until 3 months after the divorce even through private arbitration. I believe the betei dinim in Toronto and Ottawa are compliant with that law.

      Do we not recognize the governments right to set minimum age limits on marriage? From what I understand it is permissible according to halacha for a 30 year old to take a 12 year old as a bride even with parental permission. Most locals in the Western world would deem this as a criminal offense. Do we not respect that? Most western governments ban polygamy, do we not respect that? Most western locals would prohibit the marriage between an uncle and his niece (except perhaps in Louisiana). Do we not respect that? Excluding pikuach nefesh and in the case where a government would pass laws that would compel the public to engage in behavior against the torah, what laws do we not respect?

      In regards to our case, should we not respect a law prohibiting sexual relations between a 30 yr. old and a 14yr. old. Even with mutual and parental consent? Do we not respect these laws?

      Do we really not view such an individual in our community as a nuisance? Are we Saudi Arabians?

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    5. 1) A Jewish religious body or persons being forced by secular law to comply with some technicalities does not mean it is a halachic requirement. It merely means they have no other choice.

      2) Under New York State law it is legally possible for a 14 year old to get legally married (with parental consent and court.) The 14 year old's groom's age is not restricted by NYS law.

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  7. Let's hear from YCTJuly 24, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Rabbi Chaim Rapoport is a faculty member and special lecturer at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in NY, for years now, with a special emphasis in the area of sexuality (a few mareh mekomos for the above - http://rabbidovlinzer.blogspot.com/2013/01/happenings-at-yeshiva.html, http://rabbidovlinzer.blogspot.com/2010/01/happenings-at-yeshiva.html, http://rabbidovlinzer.blogspot.com/2010/01/torah-from-our-beit-midrash.html).

    I have my doubts re how well his position in the case discussed above would go over there. Perhaps he can to be invited to give a special presentation about it for them.

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  8. Response to JJ's comment: "Learn a little Torah my friend and you will go a long way. Torah Law is the law that matters and counts."

    J J, if you really were interested in knowing what the Torah says then you would know that according to the Torah, anyone under the age of 20 is considered a child. The source of this is Rashi on Soroh's age of 127 years.

    You are either ignorant or not interested to know.

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    1. Age 20 is only a relevant age for matters decided in heavenly court. All issues decided by man in our courts in this world are determined by adulthood starting at age 13 or 12.

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    2. If a 13 year old child murdered someone, they would be guilty of the death penalty and would be put to death with witnesses and proper warning. The age of 20 refers to before matan Torah and is not applicable to general halacha.

      Consideration needs to be given for age, but over 12 for a girl and over 13 for a boy is a full fledged adult and is liable for all the laws of the Torah. Repentance requirements take into account the innocence of the violator and their circumstances so a 14 year old would have a far lesser burden than a 25 year old but there is a some requirement for evaluation of the proper teshuva.

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  9. A mefateh is liable for a Bessulo, kol sheken in this particluar issue, asher lo yedoah ish, of which is bebchinat Tinoket shenishbah. You cannot compare apples to oranges, and that is the law of the Torah. BTW, Less than twenty is eino bas onshin min hashamayim.

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  10. To: Dan Quinto and tzoorba,

    The extent of your ignorance is breathtaking.
    Having sex out of wedlock is indeed a heavenly court matter. At worst this child was a Niddah and for that the sin is Kores which does not apply to anyone under 20 years of age.

    With regard to tzoorba's comparison to murder. The mere comparison is nutty and furthermore, ever since the Sanhedrin abolished the death penalty by walking out of the 'hewn chamber', murder itself is a heavenly court matter and it would not make a difference even if you had witnesses and warning.

    What is quite wrong of Rabbi Chaim Rapoport is that he has justified his support for the perpetrator of this abuse based on a falsehood. In his own words: “The age 15, 16, 16 and a half would be seen as somewhat arbitrary”. I would ask the Rabbi - is 20 years of age also arbitrary? Did Rabbi Rapoport not yet learn Yevamos (80a) where it says that an Aylonis becomes of age at the arbitrary age of 20 years?

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    1. the quote from Rabbi Rapoport is not accurate. He was not using it as a justification but pointing that even if she had been older it was still **wrong**. In that sense 15-16 is arbitrary

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    2. The source of that quote is the Jewish Chronicle. Here is the full quote:

      When the rabbi was asked what Levy was repenting, he said it was the breach of trust, and added that in Jewish law: “The age 15, 16, 16 and a half would be seen as somewhat arbitrary”.

      There was no dispute that the sex was consensual. The nub of the court case was whether the abuser (i.e. Levy) knew that this girl was a 'statutory' child or not. In other words, If Levy knew that she was below the arbitrary age of consent then he would go to jail.

      Rabbi Rapoport is therefore stating that the court should ignore the arbitrary age of consent IN FAVOUR of Levy based on JEWISH LAW.

      According to you, Rav Eidensohn, Rapoport would be asking the judge to lock Levy up for even longer - that is absurd.

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    3. My informed source says that the quote by JC is not accurate and that Rabbi Rapoport's clear intent was to say that even if she was older that Levy sinned and committed abberant behavior. Hope to publish more on this next week.

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    4. That is exactly my point. His act was abhorrent whatever age she was - even if she was 30 or 40 years of age. The issue here is whether there is a difference between a girl who is 19 and a girl who is 21 years of age.

      My reading of Rabbi Rapoport is that in his view, Jewish Law makes no difference between a 12 year old girl and a 40 year old woman - sex outside of wedlock is EQUALLY abhorrent.

      In my view he is wrong. Jewish Law does acknowledge and distinguish between a person who is a 'child' and a person who is an 'adult' with that distinction occurring at the the arbitrary age of 20 years.

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    5. When you publish your view next week please also include your thoughts on whether according to Jewish Law a girl of 16 years old is viewed as less culpable of sinning then for instance a 21 year old woman. If indeed your view is that there is a difference then is this difference the same as the 'secular' notion that a child is not as culpable because they cannot properly consent to sinning due to their immaturity or is there a different reason.

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    6. The more you argue the more you display your breathtaking am hoaratzus and lack of Torah knowledge. For you, siyag lachochma shtika certainly applies.

      Your point that Korais does not apply to anyone under 20 is questionable. Secondly, she committed a Korais level crime and whether or not she gets korais is irrelevant. She has done a very severe sin and needs some form of teshuva and the fact that she is under 20 doesn't get her off scot free.

      Your ignorant argument about the death penalty not being enacted does not mean that the person is not liable of a death penalty crime but due to technicalities the punishment will not be enacted. The gemora in Ksubos also states that although the 4 death penalties can't be carried out by bais din, min hashomayim they are carried out without teshuva. Any person carrying a death penalty level aveira on their soul is in serious spiritual trouble and all your new age spirituality garbage does not reduce the truth of the Torah by one iota.

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    7. "Having sex out of wedlock is indeed a heavenly court matter. At worst this child was a Niddah and for that the sin is Kores which does not apply to anyone under 20 years of age."

      To "E":

      All true. And the extent of the sin -- or lack thereof -- is equal and the same between him and her.

      So, to take your point to its logical conclusion, if she wasn't a nidda (she went to the mikva) they are both equally innocent under Halacha.

      "With regard to tzoorba's comparison to murder. The mere comparison is nutty and furthermore, ever since the Sanhedrin abolished the death penalty by walking out of the 'hewn chamber', murder itself is a heavenly court matter and it would not make a difference even if you had witnesses and warning."

      Incorrect. The death penalty was never abolished. It is merely unenforceable today since we lack a Sanhedrin and we lack self-jurisdiction as we are subject to the goyim's laws.



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    8. Hafoch bah,

      Venehapoch hu your failed talmudic reasoning is all wrong. The halocha of mefateh does not at all on the awareness of the girl. The halacha applies to a physical naara and to no one else regardless of mental state. Tinok shnishba only applies to chiyuvim of numerous korbonos and does not make a person into a tinok at all.

      Whether or not there are punishments min hashomayim does not reduce the requirement of the sinner from doing teshuva for the sins that they have done.

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    9. Oilom hafuch raisi (1July 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      @ tinok shenishbo

      My Dear Bubbele or Tinok shenishba as you prefer, not so fast my friend. Not Purim yet, veal tidchak es hashaa. Im lamadto, lo shaniso, veim shonisa lo shilashta, hafoch ba vahafoch ba mina lan, venahfochu lama lan. Let me teach you a thing or two.

      As for: 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM Hafoch bah,

      Never mind talmudic reasoning, you yet have to understand your chumash first. The Halacha of Mefateh as far as mohar yimhoreno / chamishim kessef to the father if he refuses to MOHAR, applies only to a Ktana = 12 & an additional six months. A Ktana can neither koine any kessef, nor makneh et atzmah for kidushhin. Who was talking about mental state, huh? After Ktana, she matures into a Naarah, and they clearly are NOT the same as you state. "Pitui" applies to a NAARAH just as well, or ANY age for that matter, except for the purposes of Mohar / 50 Kessef of which is reserved strictly for a KETANAH! Have you 'hafoch'ed bah in Breishis 34:3, Vayehav et haNAARAH vaydaber al lev HANAARAH, that is Torah mefureshet, Talmudic reasoning man dechar shmei. Furthermore, in pasuk 7 it states mefureshet ,"Ki NAVALAH assah VeYisrael lishkav et BAT YAAKOV VECHEIN **LO YEASSEH**. BAT has no age limit, my dear. This was clearly an " 1) ONESS 2) UMEFATEH" of a NAARAH, kappish. In reference to our case, the age of non-consent according to "Dinah demalchusse Dinah", no pun intended, is well within the limits to HIS detriment. Whether she needs to do Tshuva, has no place in the same breath as the PERPS. He couldn't care less for her welfare and well being then, and he doesn't care for her well being now just the same. It is strictly beinah lebein koinah what she needs if any, and has Klall Yisrael TOTALLY behind her for support.

      The criteria of tinok shenishbo extends well into adulthood. This paedophile and child molester groomed his victim, from well within the past. And as she explained, she had no clue about the awareness of such matters, until much later when she matured. 1) The lack of awareness, 2) the parents consent to this alleged family friend, 3) his threats at a later stage of a... read on

      ***"Mr Levy had exploited her naivety and fears, he said, by telling the woman that she would be the one in trouble if she raised the alarm"***, contributed little to her STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. read on...

      ********************
      The woman, the barrister said, had resisted his sexual overtures on some occasions and on others had submitted “with a sense of powerlessness” but in neither situation had she consented

      It was only later when she was abroad and saw a TV programme about sexual abuse that she grasped the magnitude of what had happened to her, he said. When she returned home, in 2006, she told her parents and later spoke to rabbis in her community.

      Two years ago, she sent a letter to Mr Levy, detailing the pain his actions had caused her. It said: “You smouldered and suffocated my soul… stole my education… and virginity. You now question what you can do to make it go away… It will never go away. I cannot buy the things you stole from me.”

      Repeatedly questioned by the defence barrister as to why she had not told someone, the woman described herself as having been “very naive” and said: “In hindsight if I had known how wrong what he was doing really was, I would have said something.”

      "Levy, who Yehudis’s mother described as 'like a brother', used to come to the family home in Edgware to babysit, help Yehudis do her homework and take her on drives in his car.

      ***************************

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    10. Oilom hafuch raisi (2July 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      @ tinok shenishbo

      continued...

      Definition of Stockholm syndrome:

      When men and women are placed in a situation where they no longer have any control over their fate, feel intense fear of physical harm and believe all control is in the hands of their tormentor, a strategy for survival can result which can develop into a psychological response that can include sympathy and support for their captor's plight.

      What Causes Stockholm Syndrome?
      Individuals can apparently succumb to Stockholm Syndrome under the following circumstances:

      -Believing one's captor can and will kill them.

      -Isolation from anyone but the captors.

      -Belief that escape is impossible.

      **** -Inflating the captor's acts of kindness into genuine care for each other's welfare. *****

      We have seen in the neighborhood women duped into thinking from the "BAAL HAMACHSHIR the BAAL DAVAR" that all is well and Kosher, while being groomed, such as "VARIOUS RELAXATION TECHNIQUES" ROFL for shalom bayis purposes, that was learnt from other RABBANIM! Rachmana litzlan. It is the Modus Operandi of ALL these BOGDIM, 1) A maisse mit a luksh that all is well and swell, Kosher and a MITZVAH too, 2) the threat
      a) will kill her, b) be in trouble, c) or no one will believe her.

      So there you have it, "TZAAKA HANAARAH", however, VE'EIN MOSHIA LAH. Is it a wonder that when such victims cry out for help, they are dropped like a hot potato. It is the RA Banim that need do TSHUVAH, not the victims, fershteist! And mideshoskei, shma minei denuchei lehu.


      Here is another that you missed out. Up to age 20, onshim min hashamayim e.g. Koress is only DEFERRED, but applied after 20, GURNISHT MIT GURNISHT to do with b4 or after matan Torah. The rest of the shtuyot e.g. tzoorbaJuly 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      -The age of 20 refers to before matan Torah and is not applicable to general halacha.

      -Your point that Korais does not apply to anyone under 20 is questionable.
      tzoorbaJuly 24, 2013 at 7:18 PM
      -If you learned Kesubos you would know that the halacha of mefate only applies to a Naara, age 12, and no older. hmmmmmmmmmm............... u mean KETANAH


      all this is none other than "ORVE TZOORBA PORACH".

      A piece of good advice 4 u would be, before you shoot of your machine guns all over the place, and call names, do your homework in prior, Hafoch ba veHafoch ba deKulei ba. Shivo devarim bechacham, vechilufehem.....

      My Dear tinok,

      velo ketinokes shel beis raban,

      Mikra, Mishneh, Talmud, Halacha is not one of your great Fortés, since you failed miserably. You're neither hafoch ba, nor venahafoch ba, not even a tzoorba derabanan, but definitely an am haaretz deoraysa mit a shiur fun Chazon ish. Rebi lo shana, R' Chiye mino lei?

      Other than that, you are a great Scholar.

      Delete
  11. E wrote

    Rabbi Rapoport is therefore stating that the court should ignore the arbitrary age of consent IN FAVOUR of Levy based on JEWISH LAW.
    ==============
    That is clearly not what he is saying. The full quote below leaves no justification for your mistaken interpretation.


    From a Jewish perspective, even if the woman was over the age of 16 when (as the defendant claimed) a long-term consensual sexual affair began, the relationship undoubtedly constituted a transgression of Jewish Law and arguably an ethical misdemeanor. It was in this context that I stated in court that the age of legal consent is somewhat arbitrary, because whether a girl is 15 or 16 does not mitigate the religious misdemeanor and cannot truly be determinant in deciding whether the relationship was exploitative in nature. A clandestine relationship between a 16 or 17 year old girl and a man some ten years her senior may well be exploitative and constitute a breach of trust. Therefore, even according to the defendant’s version of the events, the woman was correct in not allowing the matter to be ignored and when she consulted with me, I offered her empathetic advice, encouragement and pastoral support. It is for this reason that, even before the case came to court, I counseled the defendant on penitential and spiritual ‘rectification’ and prescribed measures for his continuous ethical and religious rehabilitation, including the provision of financial assistance for the sexually offended

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    1. Rav Eidensohn, you have taken Rabbi Rapoport's words out of context.

      In my view, Rabbi Rapoport is correct and should be commended for his position up until he compares the 'transgression in Jewish Law' to the statuary definition of the age of a child.

      The 'transgression in Jewish Law' that Rabbi Rapoport refers to is sex outside of wedlock. Under Jewish Law, it is a transgression regardless of the age of the woman involved.

      By comparing this to the secular concept of 'statuary rape' or for instance in this case where is was consensual sex, being deemed, in law, as non-consensual sex due to the arbitrary age of 16 is where in my view, Rabbi Rapoport has come undone.

      He has not been truthful when he says that under Jewish Law this is merely a case of a "consensual sexual affair".

      Indeed, under Jewish Law we do find that children under 20 years are deemed to be less culpable. It is further my view that the reason behind this is because Jewish Law acknowledges that a person cannot form 'proper' intention until they are 20 years of age. They cannot be held fully culpable until they are mature which is the very basis of the secular notion that a child cannot 'consent' to sex - even if they do consent to sex.

      Levy has gone to jail because he should have known that Ms Goldsobel could not, as a child, properly consent to having sex out of wedlock with him. It may not be a jail-able offence under Jewish Law and there is no point in trying to marry up the secular concept of justice with the Torah concept of justice but Rabbi Rapoport's view - that Jewish Law does not concede that there is a concept of a 'child' over bar or bat mitzvah is clearly wrong and I am fully justified to challenge Rabbi Rapoport on his position.

      Delete
    2. you really haven't proven your point. If this was a case of adultery does the Torah differentiate between below 20 and above 20 for capital punishment? At 14 is she able to accept kiddushin? Is she considered to have free will?

      Delete
    3. Additionally in a case of adultery for a 13 year old girl - the halacha is clear that her husband would need to divorce her.


      The issue the young lady in this case has raised herself is whether ignorance is a defense - and that would be true whether she is 13 or 25. Also whether psychological pressure should be taken into consideration. These are very important questions - which I have seen no discussion of the literature.

      The closest relevant topic is that of a captive woman who has lost her free will before of the arousal of her yetzer harah. However the various paremeters stated seem to preclude that from being relevant in this case.

      Delete
    4. Once again, Rav Eidensohn, you have taken Rabbi Rapoport's words out of context.
      This is not a case of adultery. By comparing it to this demonstrates that my point is in fact proven.

      The fundamental issue that this debate is about, is how do we as religious Jews use the secular justice system to 'police' our own people.

      In this case, clearly under Jewish Law, Levy would not be going to jail. The question that Rapoport is grappling with is, if we should use the secular justice system to send someone like Levy to jail or not. It is Rapoport's stated view that since Levy is not a menace to society, he should not go to jail.

      Is Rapoport disingenuous?

      Menachem Levy himself is an influential person. He is reportedly a multi-millionaire. Rabbi Rapoport would not want to have Levy's family turn against him. This could be the reason why Rapoport supports him and emphasises that he is no danger to others and should be let off the hook.

      This position however, contradicts Rapoport's own advise that all cases of abuse should be reported to the police. If you report something to the police then you can expect that in some cases, someone is going to be jailed. Rapoport cannot have it both ways. He cannot advocate going to the police and then advocate 'no jail' where Jewish Law does not agree.

      If Rapoport was honest with himself, he should say is that you cannot go to the police unless you have rabbinic approval. He should join Agudath Israel.

      It is my view that the Levy and his ilk are a menace to society, because if you start micro-managing which abuser should be reported to the police and which shouldn't (under rabbinic guidance) then it will not serve the interest of the victims and results in influential people being let off the hook when in fact they are likely to re-offend. In addition, the best therapy for any abuse victim is to see their abuser put in his/her place even if there is no possibility of others being harmed or further abuse.

      As I see it, there are 3 approaches to this issue.
      1) never go to the police
      2) only go to the police if others are in danger of being harmed in the future.
      3) always go to the police.

      It is my view that one should always go to the police as this will send the message to the community that there is zero tolerance of abuse.

      Rabbi Rapoport's problem is that he subscribes to this 'zero tolerance' view in words but when it comes to the pointy issue of a wealthy individual being jailed he suddenly has second thoughts and tries to get him out of jail because "he is no menace to the community" and under Jewish Law it is not a jail-able offence.

      Delete
  12. E please send me your email address

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oilam Hafuch Raisi 1,

    "The Halacha of Mefateh as far as mohar yimhoreno / chamishim kessef to the father if he refuses to MOHAR, applies only to a Ktana = 12 & an additional six months."

    שו"ת בנימין זאב סימן מא

    שהבת מיום שנולדה עד שתהיה בת י"ב שנים גמורות היא הנקראת קטנה

    שו"ת בנימין זאב סימן מא

    והיא מי"ב שנה ויום אחד ומעלה היא נקראת נערה עד ו' חדשים גמורים ומתחילת יום תשלום הששה חדשים ומעלה היא נקראת בוגרת

    Mohar is the payment

    רמב"ם הלכות נערה בתולה פרק ב

    ואם מאן ימאן אביה לתתה לו כסף ישקול כמהר הבתולות

    "Pitui" applies to a NAARAH just as well, or ANY age for that matter, except for the purposes of Mohar / 50 Kessef of which is reserved strictly for a KETANAH!

    רמב"ם הלכות נערה בתולה פרק א

    אין האונס או המפתה חייב בקנס עד שיבוא עליה כדרכה ובעדים ואינו צריך התראה, ומאימתי יהיה לבת קנס מאחר שלש שנים גמורות עד שתבגור

    This includes when she ia a naara between 12 and 12 and 6 months.

    "The criteria of tinok shenishbo extends well into adulthood. This paedophile and child molester groomed his victim, from well within the past. And as she explained, she had no clue about the awareness of such matters, until much later when she matured."\\

    The girl was a religious girl and should have some awareness of basic halacha. Her lack of knowledge minimizes her sin but does not free her from some level of responsibility. There is a certain level that people are expected to achieve on their own. If not, any yeshiva bochure who decided not to pay attention would be potur from any chillul shabbos because he wasn't forced to learn it.

    To be continued.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oilom Hafuch,

    from Rayach Hagan,

    נשאל לגבי אדם שעבר באיסור כרת לפני גיל עשרים מה תקנתו וכתב
    לו שיהא ניעור כמה לילות וכמנין האיסורים שעבר

    from zahav hakodesh in his essay on korais before 20

    מבואר שאין בעצם עונש על הפחות מבן כ שנים אלא
    או שנספה מדין ימות זכאי ועל ימות חייב ואם
    כבר חייב הוא בתורת עונש לעצמו אינו נענש מיהו בעת
    שמידת הדין שולטת בעולם ומחמת עוונתיו הקב ה
    מסיר שמירתו ממנו וממילא מת הוא בלא משפט מוות
    והיינו דבעידנא דריתחא צריך האדם שמירה להנצל
    והחוטא הפחות מבן כ נהי שאין מענישים אותו להדיא
    מ"מ אינו ראוי לשמירה ונגרם לו בזה עונש

    more from zahav hakodesh

    ומיהו מש "כ דקטן חריף מענישין אותו אף פחות מבן
    כ שנה כבר הביאו שבספר חסידים סימן רי ז
    כתב יותר דקטן שדעתו כגדול מענישין בשמים אף
    בהיותו קטן ומשום הכי נתחייב שמואל מיתה משום
    היותו מורה הוראה מפני רבו עלי אף שהיה בן ג שנים
    בלבד מבואר דדיני שמים אינן תלויים בגיל בלבד אלא
    בדעת ומי שהוא בר דעת הינו בכלל עונשים אף
    בקטנותו

    From these sources it is clear that there is a korais level sin even though there is no punishment. Here there would be no punishment because she was shogeg and korais punishment does not apply and maybe onais to a certain degree but she was involved in a korais level avaira.

    These sources prove that even if there is no onesh, there still is an avaira that needs some level of teshuva.

    There was a case of a maid that accidentally mixed up 2 bottles and fed poison to a patient rather than medicine. She certainly had no intent to harm but the Chasam Sofer prescribed a very stringent regimen of teshuva for her. She had to go into golus and she had to do a number of fasts and many other requirements.

    In order to not feel any guilt for the sin that she was involved in and for kapara, she should do some minimal level of teshuva but she is not totally free of sin without that.



    ReplyDelete
  15. Et vahav besufo P (1July 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    @ tzoorbaJuly 26, 2013 at 7:08 AM
    & July 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I stand corrected. Here is how I understand, as in the following. Tinoket up to three years. From 3 to 12 is a ketana, and from 12 till an additional 6 months is a naarah. Oness / umfateh is in the range from 3 to 12 1/2 years. Then she moves on to a Bogeret.

    from Gan naul uMayan chatum
    & from beyond 'Age haDaas' metuval with Talmudic reasoning if you will

    My issues of THIS particular case is, that there are a whole host of criteria and forces that MUST be reckoned with, working against the perpetrator, while in favor of the victim. You must take into consideration that nishtanu haitim and children do not mature fully either physically / mentally as in Talmudic times. When they married off girls at the age of twelve, and I don't mean to split hairs, it is in the nature of things that awareness due to necessity is already present, and are well informed ethically and otherwise. Not so in today's world, marriage is uncommon before the age of at least 18, and most parents do not openly discuss mature matter in front of or with their children e.g. 14... and up, although things are changing. From what I gather, the mother of YG did not discuss such matters with her daughter. She gave full trust faith, and consent, for her daughter to this man to teach, guide and otherwise. He was considered a family friend for years and no one suspected to be alerted when he took her for car rides. In the mean time, the perpetrator had a free ticket to ride, unsuspectingly taught her the wrong ideas, n things misguiding her in areas of Halacha of which she (Might?) have already known, and undoing it. That is megale panim baTorah shelo Kehalacha, umi'heich yeda habas shelo yechta? Imagine someone going to gadol asking a shaila or for guidance, and being duped into something unbeknownst, or misleading her to believe that such and such is the Halacha all the while abusing her. Of course in their own minds, batla daaton lifnei mi shehu gadol mimena bechachma, a designated Moire Hoiroeh beYisrael. This fox in sheeps clothes can undo almost anything she has been taught by others and unsuspectingly she will chas veshalom stand corrected. Kvar hayu dvarim meoilom, just recently in the same vicinity, if you get my drift. Ein chochma ve'ein tvuna against such Shabsei Tzviakes, other than oker mishoiresh, velo yezidun od.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Et vahav besufo P (2July 26, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    @ tzoorbaJuly 26, 2013 at 7:08 AM
    & July 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Furthermore, whether unbeknownst to her, or UNDONE what she thought she knew, is mamesh begeder Tinokes shenishbu in the web of their net. It is REINDOCTRINATION and BRAINWASHING of the young, weak, unsuspecting, and the innocent. And mind you, these young can even be MARRIED WOMEN, and still be bebchinat Tinokes shenishbu bein ha'akim, not so the yeshiva bochur that opts not to learn, while he KNOWS that he is MECHUYAV to learn mearisossoi, Torah tziva lanu Moshe... . On top of that comes the STOCKHOLM SYNDROME into play vechulay, vechulay, vechulay. They GROOM their victims into robotic way of thinking, leading to believe that all is peachy keen, clean and Kosher too, and before you know it, they are in a deep, deep trance, only to wake up for a rude awakening when the damage is already all and done deal. These paedophiles are slick, slippery and all wet, know how to manipulate with threats, or threats of shame to keep their victims in check. Me'at shnot, me'at tnumot, uvo kimhalech umchasser roshech. All this MUST be taken into consideration before having an achsher dorei. You must not package the innocent and duped victim into the same bundle as the PERPETRATOR! I do not recall from anything I came across of a Tinok Shenishbo bein ha'akim a need to do Tshuva or bring korbanot other than e.g. Lo tirtzach, of which he should have reasoned to know from daas atzmo, such as Kayin. BTW, I am wondering why you insist the subject of Tshuva for YG while discussing the chet of the Perpetrator. Are you trying to dimminish his chet, like in cheder, others also did it? In any which case, he was bezadon, bishaat nefesh, Mumar leTeiavon, against a minor and viciously taking advantage of her, ved'al.

    It is high time for a BIG CHANGE and OVERHAUL in order to save our children. In no way are the Rabbanim equipped in such matters. Rabbi Doniel Eidensohn with his Expertise, can testify to that! First comes acknowledgement of the grave mistakes they inflicted on the victims and glorified the Perpetrators letting them off Scott free to repeat this vicious cycle frank und frei. Vehirshiu et haTzadik vehitzdiku et haRasha. And yes, there should be an Assifa of Biblical proportions le'enei haShemesh, Yadenu shafchu et haDam hezeh, for starters. That will be a charata al haovar, a prerequisite of mekabel al heatid. Having done that, I have full faith the rest will roll and hakol yavo al mekom beShalom, AMEN.

    Having said all that, my intent was to clarify, as to why the demarcated AGES & STAGES in this particular saga does not matter nor make any difference, once all these other forces come into play. Halacha MUST consider these above mentioned criteria, they are not dvarim shel ma bekach. I also believe that I have answered all outstanding issues whichever way you slice it. I hope and pray that this "ET VAHAV BESUFO" was letoeles our precious children that must live on happily forever after. I would like ask to from haRav Eidensohn to further discuss here, these criteria and matters lifnei ziknei hadaas, and have his "Expertise", enlightening us all, al pi DAS VEDAAS TORAH.

    Thank you so much and Shabbat Shalom!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Et vahav besufo riderJuly 28, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    @tzoorbaJuly 26, 2013 at 7:08 AM


    "The girl was a religious girl and should have some awareness of basic halacha. Her lack of knowledge minimizes her sin but does not free her from some level of responsibility. There is a certain level that people are expected to achieve on their own. If not, any yeshiva bochure who decided not to pay attention would be potur from any chillul shabbos because he wasn't forced to learn it."

    To be continued.

    ********************************************************************************************
    Food for thought

    Lets suppose a minor child that has never taken drugs, nor knows what they are, has been fed with drugs and unaware of their effects and consequences, all the while in a sort of isolation. The child becomes addicted, grows into his teens still without being informed of his true situation, other then that he is addicted and happens to crave for his fix, and having access. At some later stage, someone either informs him of his situation or becomes aware of it himself, what should be his status? A victim of some perpetrator, or a criminal drug abuser, or put him away as a criminal for good?
    This addiction example was chosen deliberately, since gezel vearayot nafshan shel adam mechamdeson.

    Since at the age when he was pushed drugs, he/she couldn't help not knowing, on top of that there was an active outside force keeping to maintain him/her so, e.g. like a Tarzan. The age is not a factor at all up to and within a certain possible point. That is to say, a tinok shenishba has no boundries, even the little she might or might not have known has been undone by a groomer in order to take advantage of her. This example has absolutely no cut n dry psak from arba chelkei shulchan aruch. You need apply chochmat Shloimo from the fifth Shulchan Aruch and be medamei milsa lemilsa honestly, truthfully, and playing with a FULL deck of cards, taking each, every and ALL criteria or factors, lelaben uleasikei shma'atesei alibei dehilchosei to be kole'ah el hasa'aroh There is no room to be mechapess beneros her culpability if any. Your Honour, I rest my case.

    PS
    Please forgive me for being verbose.

    ReplyDelete

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