Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Testimony of minor is not to determine guilt but only to protect victims - Rav Dovid Cohen

Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society Fall 2012
Letters
Dear Editor,

In Rabbi Reiss's article (JHCS, Pesach 5772) on child molestation he writes about the difficulty to know for certain  that molestation has occurred: "One hurdle is that acts of child molestation typically occur in private, with only the children able to testify about what has transpired." He then applies the Ramo (Choshen Mishpat 35:14) that in circumstances where the   only individuals present are minors, they  can testify with respect to actions  committed in that venue. However, it seems   to me that the Ramo is not applicable in our situation, because   we are dealing with minors who are the injured party, as is quite clear from the quoted section above. The Ramo did not   permit "testimony" from minors if they are the Baal Davar  (plaintiff or defendant), as that is not "testimony" and they are   not "witnesses" but rather Baalei Davar. [The Shach and Aruch   Hashulchan say that even relatives are not included in the Ramo's rule, Kal V' homer the Baal Davar.] The only   applicability of the Ramo would be if a minor witnessed an act of molestation  committed against another person, which is of  course not the typical situation and is not what is being   discussed here.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Binyamin Cohen

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Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society Spring 2013

Letters
To the Editor:
In the Fall edition of this journal [LXIV], Rav Binyamin  Cohen, sh'lita, comments on an earlier article about child  molestation. There, the author had relied on the ruling of  Ramo [CM 35:14], that it is permissible for beit din to accept the  testimony of a minor if there is no other choice. Rav Cohen  argues, however, that this ruling should not apply to a child's  accusations about what was done to him, because he is a  litigant in the matter, and the testimony of a litigant is not  acceptable in a Jewish court. (On the other hand, if the child is  testifying about something he saw being done to another  person, Rav Cohen would allow Ramo's ruling to apply.)
However, I wish to point out what I think is a fundamental  error in his objection: in these situations, our batei din are not  sitting in judgment concerning punishment or payment. They  are seeking to protect the members of the community, trying  to determine whether the accused offender is to be dismissed  from the position which gives him opportunity to molest.  Their function is not to gather "evidence", but rather to make  a finding according to umdenah (a logical or reasonable  inference: even circumstantial evidence). Anyone's "testi­mony" can be used to establish an uindenah.
The problem of molestation in a community therefore does  not go under the label of nezikin (damages) but rather under  the rubric of hilchot rotzeach ushemirat hanefesh (laws of murder  and protecting life), and the batei din are simply there to  protect the victims. If it is necessary to incarcerate the  offenders in order to protect the victims - so be it.
Rav Dovid Cohen
  Brooklyn, NY
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45 comments :

  1. One who says פלוני רבעני is believed. Sanhedrin 9b. If the "willingly" part of the testimony is not accepted, then it must have been "unwillingly."
    Obviously one who claims he was raped is believed. He is not the litigant, as according to halacha, the criminal is to be executed.
    Accordingly, unless the testimony is with regard to paying damages, according to Rema the child is believed.

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  2. The problem with Rav Dovid Cohen shlit"a's response is that he says we should use the lower threshold of protecting potential victims -- and NOT determining guilt or innocence -- but then he goes on to say we can incarcerate ("so be it") the accused perpetrator even though Rav Dovid admits he may be innocent! (He says guilt was never established.

    He says we "are not sitting in judgment concerning punishment" but incarceration is perhaps the worst kind of punishment possible.

    He has no right to cause the incarceration of an individual he admits may be innocent.

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    1. You are misreading his words, the issue of using secular forces for defense - even though they end up giving greater punishment than the Torah is clearly stated in Rambam(8:11),Gittin 7a, and BM 83 regarding Rav Eliezer ben Rav Shimon. The latter turned Jews over to the Roman's based on circumstantial evidence that they were thieves - even though they ended being crucified.

      Rav Dovid Cohen is saying that it is not our concern what happens to those who threaten us and we protect ourselves and others by calling the police.

      It is clear from the poskim such as Rav Eliashiv and others that we do in fact have the right to cause someone to be incarcerated to protect ourselves.

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    2. R. Eidensohn: Rav Dovid Cohen is not raising "greater punishment" or lesser punishment than the Torah mandates. Rav Dovid is admitting we are NOT establishing his guilt ALTOGETHER. Rav Dovid says as much.

      You cannot cause the incarceration or other punishment of someone you admit whose guilt is not established. EVEN if that has the potential of saving other people. You cannot punish Reuven, who may be innocent (as Rav Dovid admits) to potentially (or even conclusively) save Shimon.

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    3. Yes you can. I bring the relevant sources in vol II of Child and Domestic Abuse

      See the article in Yeschurun 15 by Rav Yehuda Silman. A rodef does not need a trial before beis din before you can defend yourself. Furthermore even a sofek rodef can be defended against.

      Rav Yehuda Silman (Yeschurun volume 15 page 662): 5) It is obvious in these matters of child abuse that it not necessary to have formal witnesses. As we see in Bava Metzia (83) that R’ Eliezer bar R’ Shimon had the Romans arrest those who were drinking in the tavern and were sleepy. … The commentaries explain that the obvious reason for not needing witnesses but they could rely even on circumstantial evidence is because this was not a court procedure to punish wrongdoers. Rather it was either done to obey the law of the kingdom or it was to stop someone from sinning. The Rashba is cited in the Beis Yosef that witnesses are not needed in such a case…”. That is because we are concerned only with the knowledge of truth in order to stop the harm and to make protective measures against iniquity. Furthermore according to what I said that even a doubtful rodef is permitted to be killed it is obvious that it is permitted for us to take protective action even if we have unresolved doubts.

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    4. R. Eidensohn: 1) The accused has not been established to be a rodef 2) Rav Dovid admits the accused may be innocent.

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    5. that is what a sofek rodef is! Rav Silman says he is treated the same as a rodef.

      Rav Silman notes that calling the police is not the same as sending a person to jail. It is a call for help from perceived danger which is legitimate to use. He notes that if in fact he is innocent he will likely be freed.

      The bottom line is you don't seem to understand the difference between a defensive call to the police for help which might result in problems for an innocent person - and directly jailing a person you suspect of being a danger.

      Again Rav Silman says you can kill someone you suspect of being a threat to your life if that is the only way to stop the perceived threat.

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    6. Rav Yehuda Silman (Yeschurun volume 15 page 663): …1) Concerning removing the perpetrator from his job. In this issue we establish that the halacha follows the view of the Sho’el u’Meishiv that it is enough that there are bad rumors and there is concern because of doubts. It seems that in such a case where there seems to be a basis for these rumors it is possible to remove him from his job even in the middle of the year and he does not receive any compensation for the remainder of his contract or for loss of job…

      Kiddushin (81a): Rav said that we flog a person because of an evil rumor about him…

      Megila (25b): R’ Ashi said, It is permitted to insult a person who is suspected of prohibited sexual relations with “gimmel and shin” In contrast if a person has a good reputation, it is permitted praise him and one who praises him, “blessings shall be on his head.”

      Rambam (Hilchos Sanhedrin 24:5): A beis din has the right – in all locations and all times - to flog a person about whom there are bad rumors and the people are complaining about him saying that he has transgressed sexual prohibitions. However this is only if the rumors are constant and that he has no known enemies who would slander him. Also it is permitted to shame someone who has a bad reputation as well as to embarrass his parents in front of him.



      Rav Yehuda Silman (Yeschurun 22 page 588): …On the one hand concerning the legal requirement - it is clear that there is no need to convene a beis din in the presence of both sides since the basis of the permission to report the perpetrator to the secular authorities is either because he is a possible rodef (pursuer) or to separate him from sinning or because of the government mandates reporting. In fact these cases do not require a beis din and we need to merely consider the possible loss versus the possible gain. If the accusations are in fact true then we are dealing with a case of saving a person from being harmed. While if the accusations are in fact not true then in general then the government will free him.

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  3. In the US, for example, a Beis Din has no authority to incarcerate in any case. Is the Rav suggesting that the presence of a danger allows Jews to bring an action in the secular court that could lead to incarceration?

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    1. Exactly right! He is not merely suggesting it - he is saying that.

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  4. Rambam (Hilchos Chovel uMazik 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.

    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…[SEE RABBINIC SOURCES]

    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 8:11): “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).

    Rav Moshe Halberstam (Yeschurun 15 page 646): Let’s return to the original question concerning a wicked molester whose evil inclination forces him to sin and be wicked and it is possible to turn him over to the government in order that he be incarcerated in prison for a number of years until he calms done and returns to G d wholeheartedly. According to the sources we discussed before it is clear that there is no sin or transgression in handing him over to the authorities. In fact the opposite is true – it is a mitzva because by doing so he is caused to stop from doing the disgusting deeds. In addition we know that the government will not execute him. Therefore the essence of his punishment is that he will be forced to dwell for a number of years in prison. This will be beneficial to him in that they will assign him a psychologist or psychiatrist who will supervise him and his activities with a watchful eye. Perhaps he will be able to find a resolution of his torment by means of this treatment. So in such a case it is obvious that it is a good thing to save him and to save his family from his incestual attacks on them.

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  5. The real reason P 1)August 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM


    Child abuse and assaults happen all across the board, including rebbes and ra bonim, their relatives, the well connected, their followers etc., they hush hush it because of embarassment and shame, as well as for life-long difficulties doing shiduchim. It is purely for selfish reasons, and that is why they turn tables fire-fighting the victims and their families, relatives, supporters and all, in order to squelch them. Cherem is one of their heat seeking missiles to destroy those who speak up for themselves or their children victims. Then comes a battery of invented megaleh panim batorah shelo kehalacha's. They claim it is lashon hara to report to dina demalchuse dina, unless of course you bring it to their gatekeepers to establish whether it has raglayim, and that is so just to make sure it dies on the operating table. In all of their history, has raglayim ever been established? Never! Why? Because they're kiloy Sheker, ukeyadua, Sheker ein lo raglayim. Then there is kivyachol the penetration issue, looking and sniffing bechorin ubisdadakin, was there or wasn't there? I ask you and you and you that are in charge, did you ever contemplate about the lives of the public that are put in harms way, the children that have been assaulted having their blood spilled, young children committing wholesale suicide after being assaulted. Comes you and talk about issur lashan hara, you faker what you are.

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  6. The real reason P 2)August 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Then comes the barrage of Messira bluff, lest you have raglayim, did you ever in your life have any training investigating such issues as molestation? Never! Your rep even admitted in public that there aren't ANY ra banim that have the faintest notion of how to go about it. Then why in the world do you set up a make believe kangaroo court as IF you investigate, you faker, only to disband it, to let it hang in limbo. Who do you think you are fooling, the Ribono shel Olam hayodea machshovos belev ish? Aren't you aware of kol mi she'eno baki betiv ..... ve ..... lo yehei esek imahen and you play around beiskei nefoshos, playing a make believe investigation in order to set scott free mamish a rotzeach sheyirtzach od. Vehoyisso memashesh batzohoroyim kaasher yemashesh ho'iver bafeilo velo satzliach. Velo nassan lochem H' lev ladaas ve'enayim liros veoznayim lishmoa, only bluffing to yourself as if all is well and peachy keen. Are you not aware of velo sachnifu es ho'oretz, ....ki hadom hu yachnif es ho'oretz, velo'oretz lo yechupar ladom asher shupach bah, KI IM BEDAM SHOFCHO. If so, then why do you keep on holding the bag? It is just because you can! What about all the chillul H' in the world you caused, did that ever pain you? Did you ever think of making Assifas to stop Chilul H'? Or Chas veshalom, kvod shamayim IS expendable?

    Let me teach you a thing or two, there is a new weapon destroying heat seeking missiles. It is called the Iron Drone, aka the I-phone, Internet leminehem that you so despise under disguise. In the blink of an eye, your sodom vamo-rah ways are relayed all over the place misof haolam ad sofo, and you cannot hide, venisgaleh klonchem berabim. Your Assifas should rather be about how to save the lives of our children, to care about their health, well being and welfare, not about saving your faces. Why don't you mend what you have broken. You chased a prominent Talmid Chochom out of your town with charpos and bushes under false pretenses to save a menuvel, mashchis umechabel, robbed him out his life, parnassa, health and well being. Where are you're Gedoylim, do you think this will also die on the operating table, and can wish it away. This "SHANDE" is not exclusive to your particular area, it is of Biblical proportions all over the Globe, with the exception of a few Gedoilei uPoskei haDor, that DO care about Torah, Halacha, our Precious Children, about the lives of hanesunim batzoro ubashivya from these ra banim. It is time for CHANGE. No more bloodshed of our children, or our tayere neshomos having their peace of mind robbed for a life time. And those that cornered themselves between a rock and a hard place, only making a mockery of himself, to resign, effective immediately. It is an insult to our intelligence.

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  7. Dear DT,

    Have you considered having a SHu'T section on this blog, where people can ask questions unrelated to the specific post, without risking being called a troll?

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    1. Don't know how such a think could be set up.

      People typically email with questions not dealt with in specific posts

      Delete
  8. Recipients and PublicityAugust 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Most general readers are not familiar with this Rabbi Binyamin Cohen.

    Who is "Rabbi Binyamin Cohen"? Where is he from, what is his "claim to fame"?

    Rav Dovid Cohen is a well-known, widely accepted and used (in the Chareidi and even general Orthodox world), famous, and incredibly smart (sometimes controversial) poseik, he has written his own seforim on many topics, is always cited and often gives approbations to many ArtScroll Torah source books and who must now be approaching 80 years, who is generally known to be meikel with many shaylos.

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  9. Is there a reason that you refuse to allow allow criticism of r dovid cohen? Is the problem that it us emes and because he allegedly agrees with you on your pet cause so his shenanigans can all be quietly swept away?

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    1. when an anonymous commentator wishes to trash a respected posek with undocumented allegations which are totally irrelvant to the nature of the post - I will block it.

      You want to use your name and provide some concrete proof for your allegations - then I will consider it.

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  10. Please you know full well who r dovide cohen is. Thou protest too much. he is the man who said to 100s of people one can cheat on one's income taxes. he is the same guy who humiliated himself when he tried to be mvaze rabbi JB soleveitchik. he is the same guy who even r herschel schachter said one cannot pray in his shul because money came from pinky green. stop the fake outrage please.

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  11. explain this and all the other sites you censored please:

    http://exposemolesters.blogspot.com/2009/06/rabbi-dovid-cohen-ohel-childrens-home.html

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  12. As for your claims that you don't know anything about him giving women fake heterim to go to arko'oys you will receive a document where he gives a woman a heter to continue in arko'oys after she was the plaintiff and the man was able to convince the judge that there was misrepresentation and he was no threat to the children as was claimed. Dovid Cohen claimed that the husband fighting back makes him the one is arko'oys. You want the document i will try and get it to you.

    even mendel epstein considres him a ...

    Call rabbi gestetner and ask him who dovid cohen is.

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  13. I am flabbergasted that you refer to this man as a "respected posek." No different from r yisroel belsky in terrms of integrity. Sorry just because he purports to agree with your pet cause changes nothing about him.

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    1. Anyone familiar with the Orthodox world is aware that he is in fact a widely respected posek - as is Rav Belsky. Your disagreement with the view of the majority doesn't change the reality.

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  14. The reality that you refer to is based on pure ignorance. Marx was not totally incorrect when called religion the opium of the mmasses. I am sure all the corrupt kings and false prophets vwere also widely respected. Who cares. The emtorah is emes and condsiders sheker and corruption an abomination. Surely I dont need to spell it out for you? Rav elyashiv never respected r belsky to put it mildly. You are just trying to be ox

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    1. No it isn't. You need to face the fact that the majority simple rejects your views.

      The world is a complex place. Often people are not liked or respected in the absolute sense - but relative to other things. Weiner seems to be respected by the Jewish community - and might win - not because he is a paragon of virture. But rather because the alternative is much less acceptable.

      A posek whose opinion is widely accepted is respected even though what he says and does are problematic or worse. The community needs respected poskim and often they are willing to pay the price.

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    2. emes, you remind me very much of a previous poster - have you been here in a previous gilgul? hint: your reliance on R' Gestetner.

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  15. I completely reject your conclusions. A posek whose integrity is questionable is worthless. It is only because of the control that the rabbis hold over the masses that they get away with this corruption. If rav elyashiv ppersonally singled out r beksky aa being unworthy of leadership then who cares about what the masses think all the corrupt leaders in tanach were accepted by the majority. I believe this corrupt approach will eventually lead to catastrophe r"l there is a limit to how much ccorruption Hashem will tolerate

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  16. I spoke To Rabbi Dovid Cohen of Gvul Yavetz, He said any woman is entitled to go to court and Get a Restraining order against her Husband Without going to Bais Din First or even speaking to a Rov It is Her G-d Given Right. He did Acknowledge That woman have used The Restraining Order as a Pretext To Get Revenge on their Husbands By Filing Trivial or Baseless Violations of the Restraining order

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  17. Rabbi Ephraim Birnbaum who worked as a Dayan in Lakewood for a Few Years Said Every Woman who wants a Restreaining order against Her Husband Knows To Go to Rabbi Dovid Cohen who will automaticaly give her a Heter Arkous To Get a Restraining order no Questions asked and They all say the same thing , Chas Vesholom i am not using it to get my Husband arrested i am just getting a piece of paper however as soon as they get the restraining order within 2 weeks the Husband is aarested because wonce they have that paper in their hands they are itching to use it and cannot go to sleep until they land their husband in jail

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  18. The problem with the Family court system (Which are staffed By divorced Bitter Feminist woman with a chip on Their Shoulder and an Ax To Grind)is that they are extremely Biased against Males, especialy Orthodox Jewish Males whom They see as Backwards,Midevil, Chauvenistic Males who are out To Control and Repress their woman

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  19. Rav Lazer Ginsberg and Practicaly all Botei Dinim and Poskim will Tell You You cannot Rely on Rabbi Doved Cohen from Gvul Yavetz Heteirm on Messira and Arkous

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    1. Don't know what you are talking about in regards to mesira. It is clear from the collection of teshuvos in Yeschurun 15 from gedolim and other sources that what Rabbi Cohen writes above is accepted from Messira.

      Regarding arkous - what exactly are you referring to?

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  20. 'The bottom line is you don't seem to understand the difference between a defensive call to the police for help which might result in problems for an innocent person - and directly jailing a person you suspect of being a danger.'

    ...

    my apologies if this is offensive. but lets say you had a relative who was teaching in a school.
    and a pupil took a dislike to him and tells a rabbi he was being molested by him. the rabbi said tell the police as you need to be protected. he tells the police. it goes to trial and your relative is found innocent. his wife cracked up because of all the stress and is in and out of institutions. social workers are brought in to make sure the children are having their needs met. your relative's reputation is now ruined and he can no longer find anyone to employ him in chinuch or anything else. his children are shunned and cannot find shiduchim. one is otd.

    would you still say the rabbi paskened correctly.

    http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/False-Confessions.php
    n about 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.

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    1. Meir I realize you think I haven't thought about these issues - but you are wrong. You also seem to think you can grab a fact and then ignore everything else. You might want to read my 3 books on child abuse before you make confident pronouncements either about the halacha or my competence in this area.

      Have you bothered reading what the poskim have said about the issue or think it is fine making up halacha based on one concern - the fear of arresting the innocent? Rav Dovid is not a daas yachid in this issue.

      Read the section of Yeshurun 15 which has teshuvos of geodlim on the subject of abuse. It is available on Hebrew books or on here http://www.sfjny.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=302&Itemid=69

      I gather you don't accept the Rambam(8:11) regarding someone who bothers the community, C.M. 388 or the Chasam Sofer to Gittin 7a which clearly allow you to take defensive actions - even if it means jail. This is the world of rodef. Rodef or even suspected rodef does not need a beis din or even a rav to enable you to defend yourself or others. Even though your perception is wrong - it is still permitted to call the police for self protection. See Rav Silman who says you can even kill a sofek rodef if think your life is in danger.

      You also are ignoring mandated reporting laws. See BM 83 where we see the R Eliezar bar R Shimon arrested Jews he suspected of being thieves - purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence with the knowledge that the Romans were going to crucify them. This gemora is accepted halacha l'maaseh.

      It also appears you don't believe the police are capable of investigating - but that the mere fact a person is accused of a crime means he goes to trial without any preliminary investigation. So yes there are innocent people who are arrested and jailed and even executed. And therefore what?

      You want to have 3 rabbi's who have no knowledge about abuse conduct a trial? You want anyone who you are not 100% certain is an abuser to remain free or to move to another community?

      Rav Yehuda Silman writes in Yeshurun 15

      Rav Yehuda Silman (Yeschurun 22 page 588): …On the one hand concerning the legal requirement - it is clear that there is no need to convene a beis din in the presence of both sides since the basis of the permission to report the perpetrator to the secular authorities is either because he is a possible rodef (pursuer) or to separate him from sinning or because of the government mandates reporting. In fact these cases do not require a beis din and we need to merely consider the possible loss versus the possible gain. If the accusations are in fact true then we are dealing with a case of saving a person from being harmed. While if the accusations are in fact not true then in general then the government will free him....

      Bottom line - Rav Dovid Cohen's view is normative halacha. Is there a danger that there is a student out to get his rebbe or a wife trying destroy her husband in a divorce settlement? Of course. But there is also a concern that a molester will continue destroying lives because of the fear of arresting an innocent man or ruining his family reputation or causing a chilul hashem. Your concerns are applicable to all cases of crime. Nonetheless we still have an obligation to do the best we can - otherwise society will collapse. See Rav Moshe Feinstein teshuva about capital punishment.

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  21. also about Rav Eliezer ben Rav Shimon, I have not looked up the sources but he is criticised by his friends for not fleeing the country as far as I can recommend. could you comment briefly on this ?

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    1. Meir I have commented many times on this. Do a search in the archives - or read volume II of Child and Domestic Abuse. It would be helpful if you not only read the sources but see how the halacha is. Let me just quote one source - the Maharam Shick- who was dealing with the issue of reporting a woman to the police who was suspected of poisoning her husband. He says that the criticims were only directed to him because he was a gadol and he should have let a lesser person arrest the criminals.

      Maharam Shick (C.M. 50): [In the case of someone’s brother who had died suddenly and his sister in law is suspected of poisoning her husband. Based on Bava Metzia (83b) regarding R’ Eliezer catching Jewish robbers for the Roman the halacha would allow reporting her to the police.]. While that is the halacha, nevertheless that gemora itself indicates that it is inappropriate for gedolim to be the ones to report the transgressor to the secular authorities. ... Consequently while one should not protest against those who follow the straight halacha and report the criminal to the authorities - which has many poskim to rely on - nevertheless the gedolim should not get involved in reporting these crimes but rather should be passive. This is as we saw with Shimon ben Shetach who did not have proper evidence that someone was a murderer - even though it was obvious – and therefore he did nothing. Also look at Sheilas Yaavetz (2:9)…

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  22. does your search facility work? can you make an easily searchable faq 15 most common questions on abuse vs mesirah

    "Meir I realize you think I haven't thought about these issues - but you are wrong. "

    I am not so arrogant. just trying to understand.

    'You want to have 3 rabbi's who have no knowledge about abuse conduct a trial? '

    what is the problem with 3 rabbis who have no knowledge about abuse but who do have access to an expert on abuse conduct a prior investigation. would it not solve the problem of the wrongly accused facing ruin.

    are you saying r. matisyahu's lakewood beit din was against the halacha ?

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    1. yes the search engine works. and FAQ is a good idea - just don't have the time to do it.

      Meir I understand that you are not arrogant but you need to be careful with how you word your comments which certaintly indicate that you don't think I have thought about some obvious points or have elementary knowledge about the topic.

      The issue of a parallel justice system through a beis din with experts doesn't exist anymore and it provided no protection for the father of the victim that was driven out of town. It has no power to force testiony, it has no competence to investigate witnesses. The Lakewood beis din's use of a social worker to interrogate the molester was of no help. The beis din's conclusion was that Kolko should receive therapy as not an intelligent verdict. Besides when Koko stopped therapy on his own initiative the beis din did nothing. The existence of this parallel justice system dragged the case out for 6 years. Caused irreversible damage to innocent people, exposed the community to a child molester and just created a disgusting chilul hashem.

      I am saying that the Lakewood beis din did not protect the children, did not protect the innocent and therefore was against the halacha which doesn't require a beis din but does require the community protect the children and the innocent. the beis din was primarily to protect the name of the community and not to protect the children or the innocent.

      Similarly the Aguda' pronouncement that one go to a rabbi before reporting a crime - a year later they still were unable to produce a list a rabbis to go to.

      The beis din as gatekeeper is simply against the law of mandated reporting - which is binding according to halacha.

      See my post http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/07/lakewood-child-abuse-must-be-handled-by.html

      A better model than a paralell justice system is to have rabbis working together with the police and secular justice. Such a model exists in various communities.

      Delete
  23. 'yes the search engine works. '

    I could not get it ot work in firefox. with ie is it is ok


    'Meir I understand that you are not arrogant but you need to be careful with how you word your comments which certaintly indicate that you don't think I have thought about some obvious points or have elementary knowledge about the topic.'

    read it again. you are right. my apologies.

    ' Similarly the Aguda' pronouncement that one go to a rabbi before reporting a crime - a year later they still were unable to produce a list a rabbis to go to.'

    why is it that no rabbi wanted the job. was it fear of social opprobrium of being called a moser or did he not want to break the law?

    '
    The beis din as gatekeeper is simply against the law of mandated reporting - which is binding according to halacha.'

    so aguda when calling for a gatekeeper were violating halachah ? is this a consensus view. (that it is a violation of halachah )


    'The beis din's conclusion was that Kolko should receive therapy as not an intelligent verdict.'

    if therapy prevents further abuse and there is proper follow up and enforcement why is it not intelligent.

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  24. "why is it that no rabbi wanted the job. was it fear of social opprobrium of being called a moser or did he not want to break the law?"

    My understanding is they either didn't want to break the law or be open to civil law suits - or both. the Lakewood beis din dissolved itself when they were threatened by a $10 million lawsuit by some they told that he needed to stop teaching.

    "so aguda when calling for a gatekeeper were violating halachah ? is this a consensus view. (that it is a violation of halachah )"

    A person does not have a legal justification for ignoring mandated reporting laws by saying that his rabbi said not to report it. I think most rabbis think that the mandated laws are not taken seriously. NYS issued a statement a year ago against gatekeepers. A doctor could lose his license. Penalties and conditions vary between states. Mandated reporting is based on BM 83 which Rav Moshe and others say is binding.

    Therapy does not have a high success rate with peophiles. Beis din typically has no mechanism for enforcement or sanctions for non compliance. We saw in the Kolko case he simply stopped going to therapy and beis din did nothing. Samething happend with the Colmer case.

    So yes if therapy works - especially chemical castration - then it should be part of a program for dealing with abuse. The problem is if beis din insists on handling the matter without coordination with the police or child welfare officials.

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  25. Rabbi Dovid Cohen allows any woman to go to Arkous and Get a Restraining order except when it comes to his children. I once asked him in regards to his own children if he would allow a woman to get a restraining order against one of his sons. He got all angry and Flustered and startde Yelling AT Me and Calling me a Mechutzef Telling me his sons would never do anything that would Warrent a Restrining order

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  26. 'A person does not have a legal justification for ignoring mandated reporting laws by saying that his rabbi said not to report it.'
    .................................................
    so what were the circumstances that rav elyashev says someone who suspects abuse must go to the rabonnim first ?

    who is allowed the kill a sofek rodef. anybody or only the sofek nirdaf ?

    when rabbi elozer ben rabbi shimon handed over robbers to be executed. Why can you not say his justification was he had no choice because he was forced by the government, (oness rachmanei patray)rather than government coercion creates a halachk obligation.


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    1. he was referring to cases where it wasn't known clearly that abuse was taking place.

      According to Rav Silman anyone who can kill a rodef can kill a sofek rodef. the victim or one of his relatives. Others have to make sure that there is no gentler method of stopping the assailant

      If you are talking about a one time event than your alternative might be viable. But since he didn't escape - as was suggested to him in the gemora - then his staying indicates he had a heter and so do we.

      A doctor or teacher does not have to give up his/her employment to avoid being covered by mandated reporting. In New Jersey and other places everyone is included - but there is no requirement that everyone in Lakewood needs to move to New York

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  27. 'he was referring to cases where it wasn't known clearly that abuse was taking place.'

    so when agudah attempted to put a gatekeeper in place before going to police. was this done in accordance with the view of rav elyashev as agudah was not talking about a case of definite abuse

    when you say beis din do not have the resources to investigate to the level of certainty. is this contrary to the view of rav elyashev and lehavdil r. silman who say in case of doubt one must go to a rav. ?

    if according to rabbi silman a sofek rodef can be killed why does r. silman reqiure a gatekeeper.?

    even if you are certain he is guilty. if a first offence do you have to warn him ?

    do you agree with rabbi silman that if you can solve the problem by firing him for working in a mosad you cannot go to police?

    what is your opinion if the abused girl is over 12? and 'consents ' may one go to police.

    'But since he didn't escape - as was suggested to him in the gemora - then his staying indicates he had a heter and so do we.'

    is it a heter or mitzvah to inform when mandated. is there a hidur to resign from ones job or go to a different jurisdiction.

    rabbi shimon did not volunteer for his job. is one allowed to become a doctor knowing one is obligated to inform

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    1. Meir - you have good questions but please go ask your local rabbi. I really don't have time.

      The Aguda claimed they were following the view of Rav Eliashiv.

      They don't say that the Rav has the resources. They don't say that the rav is going to posken. As Rav Sternbuch told me this is so the world should not be hefker. He also said it is to provide a more objective perspective.

      Rav Silman doesn't say to kill every sofek rodef. The question is the perceived urgency of the matter.

      Regarding warning it depends on the case. In general if you warn a pedophile it is not going to stop him. If a person is reckless driver a warning might get him to stop. Even so if a warning is not possible or might place others in danger it is better not to warn.

      No I don't agree that firing is an alternative to going to the police. A teacher who abused students is not going to stop just because he got fired. He will find another job

      Regarding a girl over 12 I would call the police. This is a case of stopping a guy from sin and protecting others from being messed up. He is a community problem Rambam(Chovel u'mazik 8:11) Chasam Sofer Gittin 7a.

      If a guy was handing out Jews of Jesus literature or persuading teenagers girls to run away from home and marry goyim - would you call the police?

      According to Rav Wosner it would seem to be a mitzva. The only hidur is indicated by the Maharam Shick that informing should not be done be gedolim. In fact if the person doesn't inform it is a chilul hashem when this is discovered.

      yes one can become a doctor. This is discussed in Nishmas Avraham regarding the issue of a doctor informing the police about abusive parents where the children my be taken away and given to non-relgious foster parents. Rav Moshe Feinstein also mentions a similar case. Can one become an accountant if it will require you to inform to government of irregularilities. He says yes.

      Delete

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