Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seminary Scandal The Fantastical RICO by Rav M. Tzadok

I've been torn on how I want to address this subject, simply because the subject matter is so complex, and there are so many facts that I simply do not know at this time, such as whether the sexual acts were consensual or not. However, I think that we can safely say that consensual or not Meisel's actions were deplorable. His actions have shamed himself and the entire Torah world. For that he most definitely should be held accountable. He committed and awful Chilul HaShem and and perhaps even permanently destroyed the connection of these young women with Judaism, the very inverse of the reason that they came to the Israel to learn in the first place.

One cannot say that the RICO claim is not without certain merits. Surely concerned parents, especially those who hold the Chicago Beit Din as their Rabbanim, should be allowed to withdraw their daughters from the seminary without financial penalty. Their concerns are not without merit and they are simply following the direction of their Rabbanim, something that should be honored by Orthodox Jewish institutions. That the parents have not been able to regain their deposits is a profound shame and a black mark upon Judaism.

However, two wrongs do not make a right. The Shulhan Arukh writes regarding those that go to secular court for their monetary disputes, "It is forbidden to go to judgement before non-Jewish judges and their courts, even if they rule like the laws of Israel, and even if both parties want to bring their case before them it is forbidden, and every one who comes to judgement before them is a rasha , a blasphemer, and has raised his hand against the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu A"H." While the halakha does give certain exceptions to this, it is clear at this point that none prerequisites for those have been met in order to bring a lawsuit of this magnitude.

Further RICO suit constitutes at its essence an essential motzei shem ra. RICO requires that there was a criminal enterprise meaning that, the defendants either actively and knowingly with criminal intent took part in illegal activities or conspired to do so. While Meisels may have intentionally used the seminaries under his control to gain wealth and feed his own sexual appetites, I boggles the mind that other individuals, much less that Israeli Beit DIn, conspired with him to both feed his sexual appetites as well as defraud these young women, or their parents of their money.

Paragraphs 23 through 73 alleged that these seminaries were not in fact seminaries, but rather used Jewish education as a front for human sex trafficking. Further that once this came to light an Israeli Beit Din, which according to the 1953 Law Regarding Jurisdiction of Rabbinical Courts, has the same status and same legal responsibilities as a non Rabbinic Court in Israel, joined the conspiracy to commit fraud and human sex trafficking. There really is no substantive difference between accusing any secular court of engaging in fraud, racketeering and human sex trafficking, and blaming an Israeli Beit Din of the same.

Not only is this RICO claim written like bad fiction, it is simply bad fiction. Before guilt can be determined in US law three aspects of a crime must be firmly established, motive, means and opportunity. Certainly all three can be seen with Meisels himself. However, what motive did the teachers, the staff, and the Israeli Beit DIn have? Further since this is a RICO case, there also has to be shown actual criminal intent. What we are being asked to believe is that such a large group of people, knowingly and willingly worked to solely benefit a single individual both monetarily and lustfully, while pretending to go through the motions of running a sham Seminary, where the girls were not taught Torah but groomed for their night with Meisels. The absurdity of it simply baffles the mind. I have to wonder if they didn't pick their lawyer from a late night infomercial.

They are asking us to believe that the entire staff of four seminaries, and a legal organ of the State of Israel, knowingly and willingly perpetuated a fraud for a number of years simply for the financial gain and sexual gratification of a single individual. They claim that all of these folks are deviants and evildoers to such an extent that they would do such a thing. Why? Because they want their deposit back so that they can send their daughters to a different seminary!!!

Certainly, as the Beis Yaakov system has its own managers and overseers that monitor what goes on in any school that bears their name in Israel they too are going to be dragged into this. So the women and Rabbanim of the B"Y system then also have to have been knowingly and willfully perpetuating this scheme of fraud and human sex trafficking, while risking a nation wide institution that they have spent their professional lives painstakingly building. Again I have to ask where is the motive?

This RICO case is start to finish an antisemite's dream come true. It belongs more on the pages of Stormfront then it does in the halls of Justice in the United States. There simply is no way that so many individuals and institutions and be so horribly maligned as this necessitates without Judaism as a whole being tarred and feathered. Yes there is a things such as spiritual abuse, it happens, it is horrible, and it needs to be dealt with. Abraham Lincoln once wrote in a latter to Albert G. Hodges, "By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life, but a life is never wisely given to save a limb." I must ask, is the money, however hard earned, however carefully saved, so important that reputable institutions, some of which that have been at the forefront of the fight against child sexual abuse(which this case is not, by the way. An 18yr old woman is either a consenting adult or the victim of a rape), should be destroyed in order that it might be regained?

These allegations smack of the flights of fancy that paraded themselves around as legitimate lawsuits and criminal complaints in the 1980's, when Satanic Ritual Abuse was taking place in a daycare near you. It was not until a full decade after that damage had been done that the public awoke as if from a dream and was horrified at the destruction of lives, and institutions it had allowed. There the blood thirst for the guilty, allowed even otherwise rational prosecutors, one of whom would eventually become the 78th Attorney General of the United States, to overlook the crucial necessity of a motive in determining guilt. We cannot allow that to happen here.

We can only hope that the plaintiffs will rethink their current course of action and rectify the horrible mistake that they are now making. While their various grievances may be justified, their course of action is not.

--
הרב מיכאל צדוק אלכהן

46 comments :

  1. Aside from speculation and/or anonymous claims, has it yet even been firmly and conclusvely established and publicized what sexual acts exactly the defendant is guilty of and admitted to?

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  2. BTW, as Rabbi Tzadok correctly described this RICO lawsuit as being bad fiction, absurd and an antisemite's dream comparable to the allegation of the Satanic Ritual Abuse and it's filing being a severe violation of halacha, so too all these same descriptions and points are equally applicable to Rivky Stein's RICO lawsuit.

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  3. s Rabbi Tzadok correctly described this RICO lawsuit as being bad fiction, absurd and an antisemite's dream comparable to the allegation of the Satanic Ritual Abuse and it's filing being a severe violation of halacha, so too all these same descriptions and points are equally applicable to Rivky Stein's RICO lawsuit.

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  4. Aside from speculation and/or anonymous claims, has it yet even been firmly and conclusvely established and publicized what sexual acts exactly the defendant is guilty of and admitted to?

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  5. Without judging the merit, or lack thereof, of the author's opinion, we need to acknowledge that the author clearly does not have a law degree. While his argument may be well intentioned, his reasoning is clearly flawed. Tzadok adds unnecessary elements to criminal law and fails to understand the definitions of RICO. Further, as I assume that he has never litigated a civil matter in his life, he fails to recognize that a civil complaint often makes conflated accusations that will only be partially proven over the course of litigation.
    That stated, 1) yes this is a chillul hashem all around 2) clearly "the system" whatever it may be has done nothing to protect potential victims - the oversight is either nonexistent or severely flawed and 3) if this suit is the impetus for making perverted rabbis think twice before sexually assaulting their students than we should rejoice.

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  6. if this suit is the impetus for making perverted rabbis think twice before sexually assaulting their students than we should rejoice.


    Do you for a moment think that this suit added anything. What did this suit supposedly add to:
    1) Meiseles being publicly shamed
    2) As a result, his successful career in education is over
    3) Heartache for him, his family and his students


    This serves as a deterrent to any person who sees this. What element in protection did this wild RICO suit add? What, please? Thank you.

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  7. Exactly my thoughts, where does anybody see that he confessed to sexual abuse. I heard that he confessed to not pushing away a girl with many issues that initiated a hug. While inappropriate, that's definitely not sexual abuse.

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  8. The frum community is slowly learning that many batei din are unfortunately more interested in covering up inappropriate behavior than protecting victims. Until that approach shifts, we will see more and more instances of lawsuits in arkaos.

    Feel free to yell at me, but I am almost certain that the number of such lawsuits will continue to grow... Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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  9. Verification of AddressAugust 10, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Moe what's your comment?

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  10. Verification of AddressAugust 10, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Moe. What's your comment

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  11. Successful career? Surely you read the beginning of the posting that talked about the awful things that everyone agrees Meisels did. His success was at having "unwanted sexual contact with young women" and he already admitted to it. In that way, he was a stunning success.

    You're so worried about Meisels (are you him?) but what about the many victims?

    That said, I am not sure what the RICO suit adds. But then again, I'm not an attorney. If the concern is chillul Hashem, it lies squarely with Meisels. He started this whole thing. Now, others are going to finish it.

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  12. All you need to do is call any member of the CBD. You're trying to cast doubt on facts that are already well known, even to the author of this post. They will be share the info. No need to publicly post about which acts in particular, but CBD has described the actions as "kol davar ossur". Need more? Make that call. You could have done so a while ago.

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  13. I doubt any CBD member will share that information to callers.

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  14. On a point of detail, Rabbi Tzadok has misunderstood the role of the IBD under Israeli law.


    Rabbi Tzadok writes: "according to the 1953 Law Regarding Jurisdiction of Rabbinical Courts, has the same status and same legal responsibilities as a non Rabbinic Court in Israel."

    This is incorrect.


    The full name of the law he refers to is:
    Rabbinical Courts Jurisdiction (Marriage and Divorce) Law, 5713 – 1953



    It is referring to those Batai Din which are part of Israel's Justice System, and which are authorised to rule in cases of Marriages, Divorces etc.


    This has no bearing whatsoever on the IBD, which is an ad-hoc private Beit Din.


    Such an ad-hoc private Beit Din derives its authority under Israeli law from the Arbitration Law.


    In the case of the IBD, the Arbitration Agreement is fundamentally flawed. One of the two parties was no actually a party (Rabbi Feldman). Therefore the IBD probably has NO standing under Israeli law.


    Of course, halachikly, an ad-hoc Beit Din does have certain authority and responsibilities.

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  15. I literally cannot fathom how comments like these are still being written.No one, not the not the CBD, not the IBD has doubts as to what happened as they both write explicitly. Meisels even admitted. No on debates that. CALL UP THE CBD AND ASK THEM like many others have done if you want the details of the abuse. Yes I know, you are to embarrassed to call up chashuv rabbonim give them your name and ask them directly. Instead you'd rather have all the explicit stories of his sexual exploits posted online so you can read them in anonymity for your own personal "gratification". Well all I can say is baruch hashem we still have yidden and rabonim alive that realize the internet is not the jewish page six.

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  16. No "facts" are well-known at all. What is well-known are the claims of R. Fuerst, which are backed up by nothing but his own word, which is not worth very much. A few weeks ago, he told someone I know that he has a signed confession from Meisels. Don't you think he would have produced that by now if it existed?

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  17. Why not call and and remove all doubt? It's not that hard.

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  18. 1. Not shamed any more than.before.
    2 and 3. Ditto.

    You forget, in his circles, criminal activity, and or sitting in jail, is not relevant. Yichus, in terms of family, and in terms of agudah history, trumps all.

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  19. 1. The author asserts that there are halachic issues with addressing this in secular court. Which beis din would be able to property address this? Especially with two batei dinin currently at war...one of which is part of the lawsuit! 2. It's not the plaintiffs job to be the judge... the plaintiffs puts forth his best case. The defense puts forth it's defense. The author is asking the plaintiffs to be judges which is not practical.

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  20. I disagree. This case and the CBD making public pronouncements are proof that the tide is turning. One could make the argument that the IBD is also making an effort to protect the girls, but using a different methodology.

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  21. Yes successful career, there are many people who attest he greatly helped them in the seminary.

    You say he admitted to sexual abuse. Where do you get that information from?
    Admitting to not pushing away troubled girl who initiated a hug isn't sexual abuse. Are you going to keep repeating that he admitted or will you answer the question?

    What the CBD says is based off of their "evidence" which at this point is highly suspect.

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  22. Meisels and/or his operatives are out here sowing the seeds of doubt. Good thing that the CBD spent months researching this and speaking to experts and witnesses.

    At the same time, I have a feeling that even if there would have been video tape of the actions, his defenders would still be out here with similarly wacky claims about it being a "one time thing" or that the girl initiated. To some, he really can do no wrong. One poster above said, and then defended the idea that Meisels had a successful career. I kid you not. Go figure.

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  23. Again, where did you see that he confessed to sexual abuse? Or are you mixing his confession to (by charedi standards) mildly inappropriate behavior, with the highly suspect CBD conclusion?

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  24. @shlomo you are an embarrassment to the jewish people. It is people such as yourself, and the like minded who unfortunately have more influence than you do as an anonymous commenter, that caused and will continue to cause tremendous pain and problems for victims of abuse. My only limud zechus fot you is that you're a troll trying to stir up trouble. Only slightly less disgusting but it's the best I can do.

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  25. Secular court is keneged halacha.

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  26. Your guilty of the ridiculous accusations you're throwing out on others.


    What are the abuses? Stop using ambiguous language. Please use precise language. What is clear is that you are a Gottesman operative. The Baryonim caused us so much suffering.

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  27. You're so worried about Meisels (are you him?)

    LOL. Do you really think I'm Meisels? What is it that suggested to you that I may be Meisels? I'm interested to know. Are all your judgments and determinations made using the same type of logic you used to make this determination?

    Did you see how I had edited and re-wrote my comments after R. Yair Hoffmans article was published? (I feel his article should be removed based upon the additional info coming out.)

    Surely you read the beginning of the posting that talked about the awful things that everyone agrees Meisels did.



    What exactly are those awful things. Please don't use ambiguous terms - please use precise language.


    ----


    One thing seems to become clear here: You are a Gottesman operative

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  28. Basically sums up your whole case. "You have a feeling" with Zero evidence presented

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  29. You are perhaps correct in reference to the CBD. I was referring to the IBD. The actions of the CBD in this case will hopefully restore some of the kavod of batei din.


    I find it difficult to see the argument that the IBD is making an effort to protect the girls. Please explain.

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  30. Here are the words of the Baal HaBlog "Both the IBD and CBD said he is guilty. "


    Enough said. You can put the Big Lie to rest now.

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  31. Here are the words of the Baal HaBlog "Both the IBD and CBD said he is guilty. "

    Enough said. You can put the Big Lie to rest.

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  32. The Baal HaBlog already said "Both the IBD and CBD said he is guilty. "

    Want to know the details? Call the CBD.



    PS, I wouldn't know Gottessman from a hole in the wall, but I bet you're pretty close to Meisels himself!

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  33. Again, Guilty of what?? Inappropriate behavior? Yes. Sexual abuse? Zero evidence

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  34. Once again you missed the point

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  35. I'm just speechless.

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  36. I see you have posted the SAME EXACT thing on FrumFollies under Chaim (I think). Shlomo/ Chaim, whoever you are- you are ridiculous and no one should waste their time answering to your posts.

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  37. "Shlomo" STOP.

    You are misleading ppl and getting ppl frustrated. You are been spreading this "I heard he hugged a girl" rumor on FF and here.

    Let it go.

    Meisles lover.

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  38. inappropriate behavior THAT WAS sexual.
    inappropriate behavior is burping in front of company, or scratching yourself in public. Don't downgrade some rabbi having his hands where they don't belong.

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  39. MILDLY inappropriate behavior by CHAREDI STANDARDS?!?! You are seriously a piece of work. When a rabbi sticks his hands on a woman's body, ANYWHERE on her body with sexual intentions it is sexual abuse. It is crossing boundaries. It is breaking trust. You can't pretend it was ONLY inappropriate behavior of the non-charedi type. For Gd Sake the guy IS charedi. I may not care if some joe schmo taps my shoulder in a store, but you are darn sure I will care if a Rabbi, especially a Rebbe, taps me anywhere. NOT OKAY!

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  40. Meisels caused the suffering here. Remember that.

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  41. "but I bet you're pretty close to Meisels himself!"

    If that were true, it would mean he has more inside knowledge of the case, not less. Which would make him worth listening to.

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  42. "You forget, in his circles, criminal activity, and or sitting in jail,
    is not relevant. Yichus, in terms of family, and in terms of agudah
    history, trumps all."

    What a foolish statement. Founded on absolutely nothing at all.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if in five (or less) years, he opens another seminary"

    I would be not just surprised, but completely flabbergasted.

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  43. but I bet you're pretty close to Meisels himself!

    LOL. Another personal attack without support? Yawn....

    Again, what are the abuses? Stop using ambiguous language. Please use precise language.

    Guilt is not the question. However being guilty of A does not make one guilty of B nor Q. So please, stop with the ambiguity and be precise and explicit. Thank you.

    PS, I wouldn't know Gottessman from a hole in the wall



    LOL.
    Fact: You have posted 17 comments on Disqus. All within the past three days. All in opposition to Meisels and all in defense of Gottesman.


    Fact: You accuse me of being Meisels or someone very close to him. A weird accusation.


    Is this a mode of taking the focus off of you and your true motivations?

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  44. To the writer of this article. You write






    These allegations smack of the flights of fancy that paraded themselves
    around as legitimate lawsuits and criminal complaints in the 1980's,
    when Satanic Ritual Abuse was taking place in a daycare near you. It
    was not until a full decade after that damage had been done that the
    public awoke as if from a dream and was horrified at the destruction of
    lives, and institutions it had allowed. There the blood thirst for the
    guilty, allowed even otherwise rational prosecutors, one of whom would
    eventually become the 78th Attorney General of the United States, to
    overlook the crucial necessity of a motive in determining guilt. We
    cannot allow that to happen here.

    I am glad that you are aware of what happened in the Satanic Ritual Abuse cases of the 1980s, especially because a lot of important lessons can be learned from those events, especially with regard to preventing similar injustices from happening again. What is interesting is that most of the people that were responsible for these false accusations still believe in them despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary or lack of real evidence for the prosecution. A similar event happened in Nachlaot of false accusations. Although many people have come to see it for what it was, sadly, there are still many people who still claim that hundreds of children were molested by a Pedophile Ring and many innocent people are still suffering from these accusations.

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  45. http://tinyurl.com/3vu9u5

    http://www.usajewish.com/downloads/vicki-devil-worship.wmv

    ReplyDelete

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