Tuesday, March 11, 2014

After Seeing His Family Crumble, Vindicated Whistle-Blower Has Little to Smile About


NY Times  [...] Five years ago, Mr. Kellner, a 52-year-old Hasidic Jew, chose to step off a cultural cliff. He spoke out about the sexual abuse of his 16-year-old son by a prominent Hasidic cantor. And he helped a police detective ferret out other victims of this cantor, whose connections ran to the most powerful reaches of the Satmar community.

Retribution became daily fare for Mr. Kellner. His rabbi denounced him as a traitor. Yeshivas locked out his sons. He pawned his silverware.

Then the former Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, who had proved a most considerate ally of Hasidic leaders, drove a stake into Mr. Kellner’s heart. After gaining a conviction of the cantor, Baruch Lebovits, Brooklyn prosecutors turned around and indicted Mr. Kellner. Basing their case on the questionable testimony of a prominent Satmar supporter of the cantor, they accused Mr. Kellner of trying to shake down Mr. Lebovits.

Mr. Kellner faced decades in prison. He posted bail, only to watch as Mr. Lebovits’s lawyers used his indictment and other technicalities to persuade a state appeals court to overturn the cantor’s conviction. 

“My father was an Auschwitz survivor; right away he got sick,” Mr. Kellner recalls. “Within six months, he died. Then my mother had a devastating stroke.”

He pauses, like a sprinter catching his breath. “How do I tell my daddy, ‘I was found not guilty, it was just a libel, just bad people’?” he said. “The government needs to understand it did a pretty good job of killing me.”[...]

Still, an image that remains from Friday was that of a Hasidic father standing in court, rocking slightly, as an assistant district attorney described wildly inconsistent statements and witnesses who lacked any shred of credibility. 

The people, the prosecutor said at last, “do not have a credible case.”[...]

32 comments :

  1. This is terrible. If a tenth of it is true it is terrible. I am not sure if any of this is true, but if it is true, and the prosecutors say it is true, so maybe it is, then we have to explain it. And I will explain it. A Jew once did something so terrible that nobody ever heard of a Jew doing such an awful thing. A rabbi was asked how a Jew could stoop so low. He relied, "I don't know. But one thing I will tell you. He meant to do a good deed." When somebody is protecting the honor of the community, watch out.

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  2. Replies
    1. but he was not a moser so what is your point?

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    2. Switcheroo Maaseh eishes potifarMarch 11, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Wishing Mr. Kellner and his family all the broches of Yosef haTzadik. vehoEloikim yevakesh es hanirdof in its midst and development. With all your imaginary power, u u & u r powerless keneged H', mr. big guy. Bullying, intimidation, harassment will only boomerang, and tzedek prevails.

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    3. @am I hope you simply don't know anything and not that your are being nasty. He got a clear psak from Rav Chaim Flohr to go the police. He is not a moser and anyone who says he is an am haaretz and/or a rasha

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    4. His own Rov threw him out of shul for mesira. So clearly his own rov holds him to be a moser.

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    5. Who is Rabbi Flohr? The only results for his name is references on this case. There is nothing else on the internet about him.

      Anyways, according to this Rabbi Flohr said the letter saying he allowed Kellner to go to the police is a forgery. (See the "Update" on bottom.):

      http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2011/04/two-monsey-rabbis-say-they-gave-rabbi-samuel-kellner-permission-to-turn-in-rabbi-baruch-lebovits-789.html

      And as mentioned, the Times reported Kellner's own rabbi kicked him out because he is a moser.

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    6. If his rav says he is a moser than his rav doesn't know what he is talking about.

      Regarding what Rav Flohr said - his son in law told me that Rav Flohr gave Kellner permission to go to the police.

      So I will repeat myself - anyone who says he is a moser is an am haaretz and/or a rasha!

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    7. http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/06/rav-chaim-flohrs-beis-din-supports.html

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    8. Then it is Kellner's own rov vs. Rav Flohr (supposedly - it is disputed apparently if Rav Flohr permitted.)

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    9. @am this is no different than the Lakewood Kolko case. There were rabbis who claimed there was mesira. If you take the trouble of researching the issue it is clear there was no mesira there and there was no mesira in Kellner's case. At best you can claim that there are rabbis who know neither about halacha or child abuse who claimed there was mesira such as Rav Menashe Klein.

      Those claims are not correct and they should be ignored. Or to put it more simply. If you had a question about kashrus and you went to a major rav and he told you there was no problem and he showed you that it was a clear case in Shulchan Aruch and poskim and all the gedolei hador clearly agreed that there was no problem. And then your brother in law comes along and starts screaming that you are eating trief.
      Would you consider that because of your brother-in-laws claims that there was in fact a genuine sofek?

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    10. How do I know I can trust your judgement over Kellner's Rov (or over Rav Menashe Klein)?

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    11. the same way you find out about anything. 1) you can read my sources in my books on child abuse 2) you go through the issue including the article in Yeschurin 3) you can ask a Rav who is experienced in these matters such as Rav Dovid Cohen.

      Bottom line is that I will not tolerate you making false or mistaken claims on the matter on this blog in this matter. It is your concern what you want to believe but it is my concern when you misrepresent halacha.

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    12. Do you burn Rav Menashe Klein's seforim too?

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    13. @am - if you want to act like a troll - find another blog.

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  3. call a spade a spadeMarch 11, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Am , go sing your mesira song to the satmarer rebes who are in court all the time massering on each other.

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  4. Based on all recent Abuse incidents, in which Satmar did not let a conviction materielize,
    all 'ketubahs' in Satmar should only be for 100 zuz.

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  5. RDE: I'm trying to figure out--the picture at the top of the post is of which person--the purported molester or the purported moser?

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    1. The placement of the picture is misleading

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    2. Why is it misleading to put a picture of the alleged molester on a post dealing with the case?

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    3. Because the title is about the good guy, as is the article?

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    4. Then I saw that nat (below) agrees with me. By the way, even if you are objectively correct, the fact that there are people such as nat and me (and probably others) who were confused means that it is misleading.

      But don't worry - it's not really misleading in a harmful sense. It would have been much worse to put a picture of the informant next to an article about the molester!

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    5. Shkoyach for changing it - since (one of) the purpose(s) of this blog is to promote positive change, you are setting a good example!

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  6. I assumed so from the shady eyes and the guilty look, but it is indeed misleading.

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  7. Obviously it is misleading because the title of the article is about the whistle-blower. So that one might lead one to think that the picture is of the whistle-blower.

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  8. As far as R' Elyashiv A'H Posek hador is/was concerned, R' Moshe Halbershtam, R' Meir Bransdorfer A'H' along with the whole BeDatz, the Rashb'a and those that count, have all said pe echod they have a Din Rodef chad vecholok, vechol hakodem yavo al schoro, veim loy yagid venoso avonoy. His Rav is not a Posek. This issue has been thoroughly debated on this blog, and rubo kekulo agreed and there is nothing more to add, case closed. At the end of the day, the victims will not be afraid of intimidation, harassments, and kol shaar minei ta'atuim, will testify the truth, the whole truth, and they will throw away the key.

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    Replies
    1. It actually goes farther than that. If there is no mesirah (and there isn't), then given that such molestors almost always have many other victims, failure to report is a violation of lo saamod al dam rei'echah. Issur deoraysah. Pretty serious.

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    2. Tizal kaTal imrosechoMarch 14, 2014 at 4:36 AM

      You have said it all. Thank you. It behooves me how these ra bonim all work in cahoots pouncing on the victims and glamorizing the perpetrators. It is the same modus operandi as the halpern syndrome etc. The only explanation can be that they are protecting their own behind by having close members of these molesters. In line with mishnah of ikvosei demeshichei, vechaval, veasidin liten es hadin.

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  9. I was similarly confused.

    Kadai to change the picture, or accurately label it

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  10. Having read the linked article, I don't understand why Dershowitz isn't blacklisted by the community (that don't support molesters).

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