Sunday, August 25, 2013

Modern Orthodox leader condemns failure to criticize Rabbi Druckman & Rabbi Belsky

Jewish Week  by Rabbi Heshie Billet, a former president of the Rabbinical Council of America, is spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Woodmere. [see letter from Rabbi Efrem Goldberg]
 
The time for serious vigilance of child abuse in the Modern Orthodox Jewish community is long overdue. It is time that lay and religious communal leaders have zero tolerance for child abusers and cease to cover up, enable, or protect them.

In recent years, both in Israel and in America, our community has learned many painful lessons on this topic, and institutions that have owned up to mistakes made in the past and seek ways to create policies that would avoid repeating these mistakes have made some progress. But we have not done enough. The progress made has been insufficient. [...]

In defiance of Takanah's warnings, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, head of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva (YBA), the network of Bnei Akiva yeshivas in Israel, engaged Rabbi Elon to teach in his boys' yeshiva, Ohr Etzion, and rehired him after Rabbi Elon's conviction.  

Psychologist and others have observed that this case highlights the danger of charismatic figures, and a failure of the Israeli rabbinate. Followers caught in the allure of such individuals surrender their freedom of choice. We call groups like this a cult. Furthermore, besides the broader Takanah panel, most of the Israeli rabbinate has chosen to remain silent on this case. Rabbi Druckman has gone a step further by enabling Rabbi Elon to teach in a boys’ school, which could potentially have tragic consequences. [...]

In the U.S., parents of a boy in Lakewood, NJ pressed charges of sexual molestation against Rabbi Yosef Kolko. Rabbi Yisrael Belsky, the Orthodox Union’s halachic authority for kashrut, publicly accused those parents of “mesirah,” the crime of turning a Jew over to secular authorities. As a result, the complainants were driven out of Lakewood. A few months ago Rabbi Kolko confessed to his crimes. Nevertheless, Rabbi Belsky continues to condemn the complainants as “mosrim.” His position is contrary to the OU's position and that of its rabbinic arm, the Rabbinical Council of America, that child abuse must be reported to the secular authorities.

The OU has refused to publicly rebuke or take any action against Rabbi Belsky. It is time that the OU publicly condemn his defiance of the rules of the RCA and the OU. Principles must trump kashrut revenues in a major Orthodox organization’s order of priorities. The existence of the Takanah Forum in Israel is refreshing. Nothing like it exists yet in the United States, though still our community has made some progress in recent years.[...]

19 comments :

  1. Never heard of this Billet dude.

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    Replies
    1. And this is supposed to be significant?!

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    2. Sure. When some non-entity attacks a Godol HaDor such as HaRav Belsky shlita, it is something you sigh and chuckle at rather take seriously.

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    3. that is exactly my reaction to your comment

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    4. At least the feeling is mutual. :-)

      It is good that we can both chuckle at this.

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    5. bashofor godol yitokaAugust 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      Spilling blood of the elderly and accessory to murder of children, nothing much to chuckle at, especially if you claim him being a godol.

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    6. That is your misfortune. Rabbi H Billet is the Rav of the largest shul in the FIVE TOWN areas with an open house to a Yeshivish, Sefardic, Young Marrieds, Israeli, etc. minyonim also. A large congregation and a Rav with a normative voice for Torah observance.

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  2. Looks like the only way for people to make a change is 'voting with their feet'.

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    Replies
    1. So stop buying OU certified kosher products.

      ROTFLMAO

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    2. Problem with that is you will eventually not buy any Kosher certified products, because the problem can and does exist everywhere.

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    3. Move to a farm and make your own food.

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  3. The issue of Rabbi Belsky goes far beyond the issue of mesira/molestation. There is the question of motzi shem ra. He publicly claimed the accusers (the father? the boy?) was himself guilty of molestation. Unless Rabbi Belsky can back up this claim, the OU should fire him. To my knowledge the OU has not asked Rabbi Belsky to explain himself. By not doing so, the OU has tarnished its own reputation.

    ben dov
    1honestlyfrum.blogspot.com

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  4. For all the cohorts that remain silent, shma minah denichei lehu. It is like a beis din chotzif with blood on their hands. He should be considered ovar ubotel she'avar alav haklach, at best. He gave a hechsher on Atliz that sold neveilos utreifos, bought it for his family which is nogea bedavar, hirshia es hatzadik vehitzdik es horosho, mevayesh Tamid chochom godol berabim, hichriv mishpacha shleimah beyisrael, yorad lachayav spilling his blood with impunity, and Rosh Hashana memashmesh ubo. This whole saga is awfully bloody and no relief in sight. The only one shedding tears is mishnah of beikvosei demeshuche kanei sofrim tisrach, and how.

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  5. Nobody publicly condemned Scheinberg - he was on the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah! It seems like the higher up you go, the more immune you become from any criticism.

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  6. Rav Belsky is a Tzaddik at The End of The Day He is The only One who Will Go To Bat for a Yochid

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  7. yedechem mleim dam, rodfei shalmonim kulam menoafimAugust 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Spilling the blood of a whole family, especially when turning tables 180*, no big tzidkes there. Eretz al techasi damam.

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  8. Rabbi belsky is not just a rov talmud chochom posek or rosh hayeshiva he is one of our gedolim living today.Whether you all agree or not with rabbi belsky is not the issue.What is the issue is the way you all talk about rabbi belsky.If you would know what the gemorah and seforim bring down what happens to people who defame a talmud chochom let alone a godol,you would all run to ask mechilah.I pity you all. A kesivah vchasimah tovah.

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  9. The case with Belsky and the OU is similar to the lanner case where the OU also refused to take action untill it was too late. Here we have a case where Kolko admits guilt- an halachicly important staement - and Belsky refuses to admit his error which led to the suffering of a famliy whose child was abused. And people still refuse censor him. How sad.

    Teaneck Jew

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  10. If you would know what the gemorah and seforim bring down what happens to people who defame a talmud chochom, Huh? Now which Talmid chacham exactly are you referring to? The SHOCHAT mamesh or the NISHCHAT & co. driven out of lakewood. I also heard of an expression, what goes around comes around. That goes for both, laymen and gedoylim, aka al tishpechu dam... vechsinu es domoy. Spilling blood of innocent helpless children, not even the Arei Miklat can conceive. There is no slicha or mechila for such. Leolam yapil es atzmo letoch kivshon haesh veal yichlom pnei chavero barabim, that goes on grown ups as well. We need to hear charata before yemei harachamim. Avinu malkenu chamol al olelenu vetapenu.

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