Monday, August 25, 2014

Seminary Scandal: How to give information to the Israeli Beis Din

 updated 8/25/14 with additional information from the IBD and Trustseeker's response to this post

There have been false claims on blogs that the Israeli Beis Din is not interested in hearing testimony against the staff members of the four seminaries because they just want to coverup the scandal. I checked with the IBD and got the following answer.

Anyone who has information of any type should contact either Rabbi Malinowitz (0549146311) or Rabbi Gartner(I will try and get his number). However it is important to realize  that all Rabbi Malinowtiz and Rabbi Gartner will do over the phone is to take your name and number and  which school this is about. They will then contact you about coming to the next Beis Din session.


Update from the IBD regarding taking testimony over the telephone
The BD is willing to listen to people over the phone with the whole BD there, and the accused there, listening, being able to refute charges (if they would be able to). There is no need to fly to Israel.
 It isn't true that they simply want to give him a label and decide what happened in the past - there are tremendous negative consequences for the rest of the accused person's life if the testimony is accepted.

However having noted the basic din, halacha does allows aiydus shelo b'finei baal din - but only for compelling reasons. What is the compelling reason here? (other than the witness says "I feel so uncomfortable") What are we talking about? - are the teachers mafioso that are threatening the witnesses life!? Are the teachers powerfully connected people that will destroy the witnesses happiness?! The beis din - contrary to ignorant claims -  is not interested in intimidating the witness but simply wants to establish the truth and be fair to all concerned. There are no rabbinic pleaders who are trying to destroy the witnesses. In fact we can just as easily argue that the "shoe" is on the other foot. It is in fact the teachers who are fighting for their lives, their reputation and their jobs - while we hear of purported witnesses  referring to the staff with great contempt. Who is intimidating whom?
Finally after all is said and done, if we still have witnesses who feels intimated or are afraid to testify when the accused is listening -  the IBD is willing to allow the witness to testify by phone with voice altering technology and with his/her identity concealed from the accused.
It was explained that they will not accept testimony over the phone to one Dayan and in  most cases require the accused present (because they are a beis din not a lynch mob). [read the clarification below]
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Additional question - what happened to the following proposal by the IBD mentioned to Rav  Aharon Feldman?

ד.... אנו מעוניינים לקיים דיון ביום ראשון, כהצעת מע"כ, במותב תלתא לקבלת טענות ועדויות של בנות המתלוננות על מחדלי המנהלים ומנהלות ו/או מעשי מייזלס, כמובן בדרך המקובל בב"ד ותיקים ומיומנים, ע"פ כל כללי וסדרי הדיון התקין, שמבררים את הדברים כיד ה' הטובה עליהם תוך שמיעת שני הצדדים ללא כל משוא פנים ו/או דעות קדומות או מוקדמות.
סדר הדברים יהיה:
    
 א. הבת המתלוננת אינה חייבת להזדהות ואולי עדיף שלא תזדהה. רק תמסור מס' טלפון לביה"ד.
  
   ב. ביה"ד יצטרך לדעת מראש באיזה סמינר/ים מדובר, וזאת בכדי להזמין את המנהלת/מנהל/אשת צוות עליו/ה מדובר, שישמע במה הוא מואשם וישמיע גרסתו ותגובתו, ובכדי לאפשר את בירור הדברים בדיוק מה הי', עד כמה שניתן בנסיבות העניין. ובמידה והעניינים גולשים מעל ומעבר לתפקוד המנהלים/ות ומגיעים להאשמות נגד מייזלס עצמו, יהיה צורך לשמוע גם אותו (הלא גם החייב מיתה מעידים בפניו ואפי' שור הנסקל, ולשבר אזני עוה"ד למיניהם הבוחשים בקדירה זו: גם בדיניהם). כאמור הבת לא חייבת להזדהות, אך מן העניין לציין כי הנאשם יזהה וידע מן הסתם במי ובמה המדובר.

The IBD replied:

The fact is the above offer still stands,. The IBD is ready to implement it for anyone who comes forward

However there is a problem in that the CBD made it clear by the letter from their lawyer that they have prohibited the IBD to get information from the victims.


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The following letter was posted by Moshe at the request of the young lady [Truthseeker]: She clearly hasn't read the background material that I have posted or if she has -she doesn't understand or care about the IBD's viewpoint


"I rlly don’t myself to be the focus of so much discussion but…Eidensohn just posted an entire post just for me on his website.

As I refuse to directly comment on his blog, someone needs to tell him that I never ever accused the IBD of “sweeping it under the rug” when they didn’t want to hear my accusations over the phone. Go back to my comments, Eidensohn. I said nothing of the sort. EVER.

I was simply giving over exactly how the phone call was played out. And yeah, I do not ever know if the IBD will ever call me back. They don’t seem to be doing their job too well bc if there ARE teachers who covered up abuse and they haven’t already heard teatimony from students in an official meeting, then they’ve FAILED miserably at their job of protecting students bc school starts in about 2 weeks.

They had their chance to do things properly. And failed. Eidensohn, you should w embarassed at your recent post. But I’m honored you made it just for me ;).

Sincerely,

TruthSeeker

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The IBD replied to Truthseek's letter:
 
You ever hear of "hakozak hanigzal"? --attack the BD,make it impossible for them to gather evidence, threaten everyone (including a member of the BD!!!! ) with a lawsuit, serve him papers ,meaning the threat becomes a reality,  cut off funding and credits from the seminaries throwing their very existence into question, attack Yarmish incessantly--and then cry and scream that the Beis Din is not meeting to do its job!!
Truth-seeker indeed.

333 comments :

  1. From IBD's letter (Friday, August 1 2014):

    א. הבת המתלוננת אינה חייבת להזדהות ואולי עדיף שלא תזדהה. רק תמסור מס' טלפון לביה"ד.

    ב. ביה"ד יצטרך לדעת מראש באיזה סמינר/ים מדובר, וזאת בכדי להזמין את המנהלת/מנהל/אשת צוות עליו/ה מדובר, שישמע במה הוא מואשם וישמיע גרסתו ותגובתו, ובכדי לאפשר את בירור הדברים בדיוק מה הי', עד כמה שניתן בנסיבות העניין. ובמידה והעניינים גולשים מעל ומעבר לתפקוד המנהלים/ות ומגיעים להאשמות נגד מייזלס עצמו, יהיה צורך לשמוע גם אותו (הלא גם החייב מיתה מעידים בפניו ואפי' שור הנסקל, ולשבר אזני עוה"ד למיניהם הבוחשים בקדירה זו: גם בדיניהם). כאמור הבת לא חייבת להזדהות, אך מן העניין לציין כי הנאשם יזהה וידע מן הסתם במי ובמה המדובר.

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  2. The schols maybe in israel but the students and parents are from the USA. The IBD is largly an unknown most probable they are okay but i have no clue. While the CBD and the 3 rabonim are notable rabonim our leaders. so i will follow them over 3 outsiders.

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  3. From DT blog: It was explained that they will not accept testimony over the phone to one Dayan and in most cases require the accused present (because they are a beis din not a lynch mob).

    So IBD does not take testimony from girls except in front of Meisels...while at the same time they do take testimony from principals and staff members not in front of the girls who accuse them of covering up. And this is yashrus???

    What a bunch of crock!

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  4. Too little, too late!

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  5. I completely believe that The IBD will meet and give a full hearing to all the victims who contact them and they will implement all necessary changes. However if by their own admission they don't plan on meeting with them until either the girls go to israel or the BD comes to America (which is understandable-like you said they are a beis din not a lynch mob, although I don't know how feasible paying for all those tickets will be) how in the world can they proclaim the schools safe KNOWING that there are accusers out there who (through no fault of their own) they have not been able to meet with yet. I still have not seen an answer to this simple question.

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  6. Can we please clear something up. The IBD will not accept testimony from the girls unless the teachers ("accused") are present, but they took testimony from the teachers without the girls being present! Am I the only one that thinks something doesn't fit here?

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  7. Why couldn't someone be meorer the IBD to look into something based on the account of a victim over the phone or based on information provided to them by CBD? It would not be aidus but it would be a possible valid source worthy of investigation.

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  8. @Moshe - an accused has the right to defend himself and beis din is supposed to hear both sides.

    The staff had no specific accuser. If the CBD in fact shared the information they claimed they had then the two situations would have been comparable.

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  9. @Moshe it was answered in the post of the father to his son

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  10. I never ever comment on blogs, but for some reason, this post has shaken me out of my reverie.

    I am not a fan of the tactics of the CBD, but in my opinion, this post illustrates why the IBD should just disband and go away.

    What you are essentially saying is that if there are no girls who want to fly to Israel, and then share their testimony in front of the other seminary staff, then there is no recourse and as far as the IBD is concerned, the seminaries are all safe.

    That is simply not a realistic standard to use. Why would a girl want to potentially allow her name to be public, certainly jeopardize any chance of the seminary staff speaking well of her for shiduchim purposes, and get involved at all, if the standard is so high that they need to come to Israel and speak in front of the staff?



    They should certainly be very wary of any promised confidentiality from a beis din that leaks so many inside documents, not matter that there reputation was in question. I don't think they were wrong to do so, but I certainly wouldn't trust them with keeping names private.


    In these kinds of situations, where we know that Meisels is guilty of inappropriate contact, it is at least as likely as not, that someone on the staff was told, and disregarded. In this situation, if they really want the safety of the girls to be paramount, more important than the livelihood of the staff, then they should find a way to lower the barrier to giving information, not increase it to an impossible standard.


    And Rabbi Eidensohn, you know as well as anyone, that there are a number of active molesters who would never have been removed from their positions, and would probably continue to molest our children to this day, had we required that they give formal testimony in a beis din in front of the accused. Certainly before receiving monetary damages, something like that should be required, but not to remove a problem person from their position.


    I am sure the IBD means well, but to declare the school safe because CBD won't share their info, and no one is willing to fly to israel to report personally and in front of other staff, that some of the staff were warned, seems like a travesty, and like it is putting the livelihood of the staff ahead of the safety of future students.

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  11. I don't think it was. If you feels otherwise, please copy and paste the relevant portion for us to see and judge.

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  12. Shouldn't that make it even worse? Not only did they question them without the other side being present, they didn't even know who they were or the nature of their accusations!

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  13. Good recall. I hope everyone reading understands this though, maybe i'll post a translation.

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  14. @Moshe - the critical issue is what happened to the promised infomration from the CBD. The CBD was originally understood to be a source of information gathering on the accusations of the students.

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  15. I believe that the critical issue is why the CBD lost trust in the IBD. Something happened. If they were on the same page, it would seem a simple matter to send the IBD the info. But it seems that they won't.

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  16. @Sam Melamed. - I strongly disagree with your allegations.

    1) Everybody agrees or seems to agree that Meisels was the only one who was involved in inapproprate physical contact - therefore the source of active danger has been removed according to everyone.

    2) The question of whether there were teachers/staff who were silent when they had reason to suspect or were actually told something wrong was happening.

    If there are accusers with specific accusations then that can be investigated by BD with Meisels given the right to defend himself against the allegations

    If there are no accusers then the possiblity can only be checked by agressively questioning the satff - and that was done

    3) What if the CBD is correct that there were complicit staff members. The IBD can't examine unidentified staff and as noted they don't feel the CBD has crediblity in this matter. If there were staff that endangered students or as a minimum didn't protect them the CBD would be obligated to inform the IBD or call the police. It did neither and thus their claims are suspect.

    4) The question of whether there was complicit staff really is primarily the question has justice been done. Have people been punished and made to pay for their transgressions.

    5) A more important question then justice is the question of safety. Even if all the guilty staff have been fired - the issue of problematic interaction between male teachers and female students in seminaries remain. Not dealing with that culture means that it is merely a matter of time before another incident occurs. Thus by focusing on significant changes in the seminary with careful monitoring - students are made safer than if they went to other seminaries which have not changed the nature of interaction.

    Thus we have a tradeoff. It is possible that some staff were complicit either from ignorance or dereliction of duty. Ideally they should be fired/punished. But even if they are not punished - it is unlikely that they would repeat their transgressions in a new atmosphere of carefull monitoring, instructions on dealing with abuers and significantly reduced emotional interactions.

    Thus if you ask the question which seminaries are safest - it is clear that the ones with the new protocols and extra supervsion are in fact safer than seminaries who lack these protocols and supervision - even if staff members are retained that did nothing previously in the face of suspicions of abuse..

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  17. @Jaspers - yes you can ask why the CBD lost faith in the IBD or you can ask why did the CBD fail to keep their part of the agreement.

    Do you know the answer to either question?

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  18. The "teachers" aren't the ones being accused. It is the former administrator who the accusations are on.

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  19. The beis din has the obligation to investigate the situation. That's IBD's duty as it has jurisdiction of the case once the CBD gave it over to them and the seminaries accepted the IBD. So they are obligated to investigate the teachers (and no accusations were brought to the IBD beis din against the teachers - only against Meisels) so the IBD investigated the teachers (who again no accusation were brought in the IBD [which has jurisdiction of the case] against them) for any information they have on the Meisels situation.

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  20. No one made any accusations to the IBD (which has jurisdiction of the case) against the teachers. The only allegations made to the IBD are against Meisels.

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  21. The CBD are largely unknown outside of Chicago as a beis din, whereas the beis din in Israel is known the world over as major dayanim. And the seminaries are in Israel and the IBD has jurisdiction over this case.

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  22. R Eidensohn, I respectfully disagree. That is not the critical issue. The critical issue is whether the seminaries are safe enough to service a few hundred girls in a week or two. This depends on the nature of the investigation into the accused. Now if it was carried out without one party there/not knowing the accusations (yes, through the fault of the CBD) and compounded by the refusal to listen to the accusers themselves not in the presence of the accused (effectively preventing any hearing for the foreseeable future), then we have big problems.

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  23. One thing I definitely agree with you on is that of all the seminaries in the world, the one least likely in my mind to have an instance of a girl actually being sexually abused this year is pninim.

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  24. The teachers ARE being accused. They are being accused of covering up, enabling, and looking the other way when allegedly at least {} girls were raped. That's {} lives changed forever. Is it true? No idea. But I would not want someone like that being mechanech my daughter? Would I send my daughter to a school that may have the staff all fired halfway through the year?

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  25. The young ladies are not "defendants" (nitvaim) in this case. Unless M counterclaims against them.

    The teachers, etc most probably teach in other schools, too. That is the nature of the yeshiva / seminary system in israel -- multiple jobs. And they can't go to teach elsewhere with this over their heads. If a young lady wants to pursue serious accusations that permanently affect their livelihood ....

    The only (somewhat) confirmed. accusations against M are of the nature of improper touching, possibly fondling. (Any other accusations are unconfirmed, or in dispute. Even the CBD is hazy on this). If someone wants to pursue more serious accusations against M, then ....

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  26. I know the answer. The CBD stopped sharing info with the IBD the minute it realized that the IBD wouldn't be party to a shakedown of The seminaries. The CBD (Shlomo Gottesman) wanted to steal the seminaries from Meisels and when the IBD wouldn't play ball, they fired them.
    Forgetting that a real Bais din can't be fired, and that honest dayanim aren't afraid to do the right thing- as in "Lo seguru mipnei Ish"!
    Gottesman had a very clear agenda from the beginning, and was using the IBD only as a tool to further that agenda.
    The same way he uses gedolim for his agenda. If you would ever hear him in private speaking about gedolim, like Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky, you'd faint from the arrogance and the disdain with which he talks about them. I've heard him. Hashem yerachem.

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  27. Sam: So the seminaries should be destroyed because of the possibility that there may have been staff who didn't report to the police what they possibly knew?

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  28. @Moshe- you seem to"know" more than even the CBD . Not aware of any claim that most or even a significant minority of any seminary is being accused by the CBD. The charges are negligence in following up reasonable basis of concern- not as the RICO claim that they were actively providing girls to Meisels.

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  29. You are being so disingenuous here that it boggles the mind. Several comments have been posted making extremely valid points and you keep repeating the same irrelevant answers.

    You seem to believe that the IBD are the ones responsible for the sems now. This should not be the case. The charges were brought to the CBD. The evidence and testimony is with the CBD. The conclusions were made by the CBD. All the IBD has done is literally act as a fig leaf for the sems so they can 'legally' ignore the ruling of the beis din who dealt with the matter and let the sems continue as normal.

    Try for a second to look at this as an outsider; a ruling not good for the sems was reached by the court that heard the evidence and suddenly a new court arrives who have not heard the evidence, overrules the initial ruling and make a ruling that is favourable to the sems. How can you not conclude that this is a cover up?

    One wonders exactly what you have to gain from siding with a court that not only doesn't have the ability to make a just ruling but has no right to be involved as the victims never agreed to them!

    It is very clear why the CBD will not share information with the IBD. The fact that they are making a ruling even though they are not in the know proves that they are in cahoots with the sems. If they would be just, they would step back. This also explains why girls have not been turning to them with accusations. Why bother going to a corrupt court who have already reach a decision before they have heard the evidence!

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  30. They are *not* being accused unless a formal beis din accusation is made against them. None of the teachers have been summoned to beis din by anyone accusing them. Unless and until that occurs, they are not being accused.

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  31. Just wondering, where have we seen confirmation of anything, even negiah?

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  32. Random comment Moe, of all the IBD supporters, I think you're the most fair minded and balanced, and to your credit you do not stoop to insults and conspiracy theories to prove your points. [end random comment]

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  33. @Davihame - you keep repeating charges and allegations as if they were true. Furthermore you have presented no evidence that the IBD is corrupt or even incompetent.

    Yes the IBD is responsible for the sems now. The CBD arranged for the case to be given to the IBD.You keep ignoring or denying that when the CBD has itself stated the fact. No evidence that they are simply covering up for the seminaries. In fact they are making significant changes in the seminary that the CBD has made no mention of. The CBD has not authority to demand or enforce changes in the seminary while the IBD does.

    You obvious have strong preconceived notions and biases that prevent you from understanding the documents that support my position and refute yours. But you just keep repeating the same nonsense.

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  34. I can no longer comment on this topic. It is quite clear where your loyalties lie. I had thought, because you have a blog, that you were one of the heralds of a new charedi mentality where victims came first and both abuse and hushing up abuse would no longer be tolerated. It is clear that I am wrong. You still belong to the world where it is acceptable to intimidate people into silence, organisations don't have to accept responsibility, where the testimony of the abused is not even considered crucially necessary in arriving at a suitable ruling. (All undeniably present in this sordid case.) Where the important thing is covering up and accountability is a dirty word.
    I am very disappointed. Good night.

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  35. I too won't try again to keep you on point - sadly it is the same tired answers- that are not responsive to the specifics of the question.


    I will,however, try again with one critical point - which you ignored in my prior comment (which I was flattered that you turned into a full post) but must now raise again in light of your current post.


    In Yeshurun Volume 22; Page 592 (Beginning with the Paragraph labeled Daled) there is a teshuva of Rabbi Shafran - addressed to Rabbi Gartner (2 of the IBD members!) which squarely addresses the question of who and how testimony may be taken in these types of abuse situations. After explaining/proving why many normal standards of eidus are not required, he explicitly addresses whether "testimony" needs to be heard in front of the people being accused and states definitively that it does not. His rationale is clear that they would be intimidated, scared, etc. "as is often in these types of cases" (in his words).


    Can I beg you to respond to the following questions directly!


    Are you familiar with this teshuva? (It is available on Otzar Hachochma).


    Do you agree that the teshuva is opposite the approach the IBD is taking here?



    (Please try to avoid the hairsplitting - having these girls have to testify in front of the head of a seminary about these acts, and regarding which teachers, or the very person in the room - ignored their complaints - is terrifying and NOT REQUIRED - based upon the explicit teshuva of Rabbi Shafran!).


    Again - I reiterate - rethink your defense of the IBD. Their conduct is appalling. Your take on this matter is not the RDE we have come to know ...

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  36. CBD stmt "unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature."

    Unwanted prob means unwanted after the fact.

    Physical contact means not sexual contact meaning not rape.

    Of a sexual nature can mean touching and or fondling.

    After the CBD put out this stmt (which M supposedy admits), they changed their mind to ...

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  37. Random thought: I thought I was quite openminded and balanced. :-)

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  38. Lest we neglect this point, I will reiterate it. This whole situation we've all been analyzing and discussing hinges a great deal on what one man allegedly did. This man is still around, and in fact probably is living near the seminaries in question. He may be persona non grata there, he may not have keys to the locks, but he knows his way around, he knows some of the girls attending the schools, and if indeed he succumbed to perverse appetites in the past, those desires are perhaps still crouching at the door, and who is to say that if in another moment of alleged weakness, he may not take a 3 AM ride over to the campus.

    A plot for a work of fiction? Consider, how many cases have we been subjected to in the media of people, both prominent and plain, who've gotten caught in just such a way, from politicians to peons?

    And has this man suffered one iota for what he has allegedly done? If he did sin, he could be excused for feeling invincible, if he so yearns. He's presumably been compensated for his work over the years, he's been compensated for turning control of his seminary business to another, he has been shielded apparently by one of his former employees -- why, according to this blog (if I'm not mistaken), no Bais Din that he's been involved with has ruled that he can't open another seminary. He's even had the Mazel to have a RICO lawsuit filed against him: he may lose that suit, but because of the suit's bizarre wording he may also possibly win it or have it dismissed, in which case he could understandably seek to spin that victory into an exoneration.

    So. What is there to lose by going trawling around the dorm? Life is good.

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  39. Not at all. The CBD had all the contact info for the IBD. They could have contacted Rabbi Eidensohn or many other people.

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  40. Why don't you read it yourself, Moshe? It's a question that has been answered many times. You know that. Lets try to be ingenuous over here.

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  41. Moshe, if only you'd be able to say this about yourself. Additionally, do you have anything on-topic to answer Moe?

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  42. I think this part is worth repeating:

    Even if all the guilty staff have been fired - the issue of problematic interaction between male teachers and female students in seminaries remain. Not dealing with that culture means that it is merely a matter of time before another incident occurs. Thus by focusing on significant changes in the seminary with careful monitoring - students are made safer than if they went to other seminaries which have not changed the nature of interaction.

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  43. Why don't you stop with the deciet. How could you not have read the letters from CBD and IBD? Unbelievable.

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  44. It must be stressed that the CBD is being led by Gottesman, who has been reported as trying to have the seminaries turned over to Himself.
    How can anybody take the CBD conclusion seriously knowing that?

    I have heard that Gottesman blocked the sale of seminaries by calling the prospective buyers by threatening lawsuits..... A threat that he seems to have carried out. (Yarmish is included in the lawsuit).

    It is a fact that Gottesman works for Torah U'mesorah and the executive director of Torah U'mesorah, Zvi Bloom was the only seminary owner to put out a letter recruiting the girls from these seminaries.

    I have heard that much of what the CBD claims to have happened was told to them by Gottesman, not even based on what they have heard from accusers.

    There has been absolutely no transparency from the CBD.
    Has anybody heard from them how many accusers there are and how many accusers they actually interviewed?
    Has anybody heard from them specifically what was alleged to have been done?
    Has anybody heard from them what his confession was.
    Has anybody heard specifically how the staff was allegedly negligent?
    Please don't answer with vague generalities......

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  45. this is such a good and positive move. kol kakavod to you, RDE. We all need to move in a positive direction to resolve this

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  46. 1 after all the publicity no girl in her right mind would get in to a car with him at night alone (we were not talking about rape over here ) 2 if you ask me all the publicity basically ruined Meisels life how would you like it if the whole world knew you were a molester. or would you let your kids go out with his children on a date

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  47. No - but the staff in question should be fired, and both they and Meisels should be investigated by the Israeli police.

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  48. You don't want vague and and ambiguous answers and accusations?
    You don't want just attacking replies?
    Then you must not be talking to CBD supporters, as thats all they seem to engage in.

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  49. "Insiders have told me that the CBD is claiming that Meisels raped at least 40 girls."
    Daas Torah reply to Ben P., 7 Days ago, in comments:
    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2014/08/seminary-scandal-why-hasnt-chicago-beis.html

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  50. "...or would you let your kids go out with his children on a date...."
    The Torah teaches not to punish children for the sin of the parent, how much more so, it seems to me, the alleged sin, and I haven't drunk deeply from the Shidduch System Koolaid, in fact, I have not even mixed the powder into the water, so to speak. I don't go for artificial flavors and colorings.

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  51. At this point, you have assured us that potentially complicit staff were aggressively questioned and denied it. Would you not concede that if any of them gave false testimony, they will now have perpetual motive to distort the reality of what happened and in various ways seek to legitimate the past in the seminary. For example they would contribute to perpetuating the view that Meisels merely made the mistake of hugging a crying girl and that he should not have done it but there was no sex abuse problem, etc. The final outcome could be laying the groundwork for his reentering the seminary business.

    I realize Rabbi Eidensohn, that you are saying we should grant the staff a chezkas kashrus absent evidence to the contrary. But IF they were complicit, no microscope in the world can prevent the subtle games of kashering Meisels, especially with the loshon horah card being played very asymetrically.

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  52. As depressing as it has been reading the posts on this blog relating to this subject, this most recent thread has reached sad new lows. Hiding behind technical procedures reveals a thorough misunderstanding of the role of Bet Din in these matters and the nature of sexual abuse. This is not a standard Chsohen Mishpat case between two ba'alei din, but rather it is a question of determining the safety of Bnos Yisroel attending these seminaries. As such the need for both ba'alei din to be present, particularly in light of how difficult it is for victims to come forward and even more so in this case where everything involving the IBD seems to be leaked to the public, does not exist.


    That does not mean that any testimony given is taken at face value or that the accused does not have a right to be heard; but to treat this situation as a classic din torah is simply incorrect.


    Let me explain via the following moshol. Let us say that a person was molesting young boys at a local mikva. The boys tell their parents who bring their concerns to the local rov. Would any respectable Rov respond that the alleged victims are ktanim whose eidus is unacceptable or that the parents report is eid m'pi eid and therefore ignore it? Undoubtedly not as this is true skanos nefashos. Of course he would investigate, consult with true experts in the field, and would likely talk to the boys themselves. He may even create an ad hoc Bet Din and would then speak to the accused before making a decision but he would not treat it like a classic Choshen Mishpat scenario.


    This situation is no different and pretending that it is undermines people's confidence in rabbanim and reinforces the belief that this whole sordid tale is simply another cover up.


    Years ago, when Rav Elya Svei zt'l heard from enough boys and their families about what was happening at Nvei Tzion he made sure that Sobel (the offender) was removed. He did not wait until each one of them repeated their experiences in front of the accused as that is not the way we deal with sakanot nefashos.


    More recently, when the rabbanim of the Five Towns heard enough testimony (and tape recordings) they removed Dovid Weinberger from his post. Of course they met with him first - not all accusations are true and a Bet Din should not be a lynch mob - but they did not put each woman through the harrowing experience of repeating each detail in his presence.


    In both of those instances the rabbanim involved understood the nature of the issues and responded accordingly. Is it too much to ask of the IBD to do the same?

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  53. @Yerachmiel Lopin - very creative use of the word "if" to ignore what the evidence indicates. Please note my satire of you that I just posted.

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  54. "Years ago, when Rav Elya Svei zt'l heard from enough boys and their families about what was happening at Nvei Tzion he made sure that Sobel (the offender) was removed. He did not wait until each one of them repeated their experiences in front of the accused as that is not the way we deal with sakanot nefashos."


    Same thing occurred here with Meisels removal.

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  55. Yes. Because if they didn't know then they SHOULD have known. This is not a one time action that they may not have been aware of. The reality is that Meisels has reportedly been doing this for years.
    They are either criminally negligent or criminally incompetent, and in neither instance would a half normal parent trust them with the well-being of their daughter.

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  56. Bit if RDW would have denied it (and had an "Amatla" ( = reasoning) for the tape; i didn't know there was a tape. Though i did hear about this a couple of years ago, and i have been tied into 5towns for well over a decade) and RDW would have insisted on a din torah, then ....

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  57. I'm just wondering, why is the IBD hanging on to this case tooth and nail. Why don't they just hand it back to the CBD or another BD kavua in israel (maybe even a rabbanut one) As they said in their response, it has been impossible for them to gather evidence, and they have been subject to incessant attacks and even lawsuits. This has brought them nothing but agmas nefesh. Assuming that the safety of the girls is their only priority and discounting all conspiracy theories, the only explanation I can think of is (right or wrong) that they feel that the CBD is so incompetent that them operating with evidence will be worse for the safety of the students than the IBD operating with their hands tied and without any evidence, and they are willing to accept all the attacks etc. to ensure the girls' safety. If anyone has any other explanations please share.

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  58. I was careful how i wrote there. Look closely I said "actually being sexually abused ". There is much more to maintaining a safe educational and secure environment then not being sexually abused or raped. I don't know why so many of you are stuck on the equation: no more rapist=everything's fine.

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  59. "all they will do over the phone is to take your name and number and which school this is about. They will then contact you about coming to the next Bais Din session.... they will not accept testimony over the phone to one Dayan and in most cases require the accused present"

    Then (my translation): "1.The girl who is accusing/complaining is not required to identify herself and perhaps it is better if she does not identify herself. Just that she give her telephone number to BD... As stated the girl does not have to identify herself, but it should be noted that the accused will assumedly know who and what is being discussed."

    "The fact is the above offer still stands"

    RDE these 2 statements seem to be a complete contradiction. One requires a meeting with the BD and one does not. One requires the girl to identify herself and one does not. This does not seem answerable with a usual hachi ka'amar/chisurei mechsira. Please explain.

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  60. "The plaintiffs never agreed to it!"


    Slight mischaracterization. Assuming RDE did not lie, the CBD agreed to something. The point of contention seems to be about what, and whether they can renege. The CBD says they only wanted the IBD to get rid of meisels and then hand it back and the IBD says they gave it complete control over everything. Also the shtar berurin as has been pointed out many times did not have an actual plaintiff or even a member of the CBD signed on it so the CBD should not be barred from changing their mind regardless.

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  61. Oh, so now we're trusting what they say. Please. Make up your mind.

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  62. We have established that the CBD is a bunch of "thugs and terrorists" who have lied and continued to lie and have been bought off in a scheme to destroy the seminaries or give control of them to their crony gottesman. How can you believe a word they write. This is less than zero confirmation.

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  63. I think you're just upset that you realized everyone sees through the bias hate and vitriol that keep dripping out of everything you post. Perhaps your good friend kishkeyum (if he's not you) can give you a big hug next time you meet and make you feel better.

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  64. No they should not. But I think you also realize it's more complicated and nuanced than that.

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  65. Yes meisels should be made to pay dearly for all the lives he's ruined. However I think are incorrect about the girls in pninim being at higher risk from him than those from other schools. Seminaries are almost always one year programs meaning he will not have any preexisting relationship with any of the students this year. The only thing for him to do would be to either try and seduce or rape a girl he has not met before, and it would be just as easy (or as hard) for him to do this with a pninim girl or with a girl from a different seminary, he has the keys to neither and knows where all of them are. The difference being that anyone in a meisels seminary will have there guard up much higher this year and the staff/new owners will be terrified of a repeat problem.

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  66. I live in the USA as well as most of the potential talmidos, the CBD is one i recognize and trust the people on the IBD may be good and wonderful people i just have nothing to go by and i will follow my leaders not some rabonim in Israel.

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  67. People regularly reject proposed shidduchim based on parental abuse allegations. And i emphasize allegations.

    OTOH, in some circles (charedi, agudah, yichus, moneyed, for example) its not an issue. Here, it seems M has all four.

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  68. I think the Gottesman's June 30 emails, as well as the IBD response to Rav Feldman August 1 make it clear that the CBD is following the advice of it's attorneys.


    If true, I am certain that some here will applaud that. I, for one, would be revolted by the thought of a Beis Din violating and disgracing halachah based on advice of a lawyer.

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  69. I was careful how i wrote there. Look closely I said "actually being sexually abused ". There is much more to maintaining a safe educational and secure environment then not being sexually abused or raped. I don't know why so many of you are stuck on the equation: no more rapist=everything's fine.

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  70. Most American Jews, especially those in New York and places other than Chicago, don't know much of or hold by the Chicago rabbis as their leaders.

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  71. Even if that may be the case, the IBD has the right (and perhaps the obligation) to retain jurisdiction. They need not give it back to the CBD even if the CBD wants it.

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  72. Sadly you missed my point. The issue was one of procedure ; Rav Elya clearly did not agree with the IBD regarding the Bet Din process.

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  73. While I agree that he should be out of the seminaries, how do you know that he "ruined" girls lives. If you go based on his admission of what took place, there were no lives being "ruined". As stated many times, the CBD conclusion is very suspect,

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  74. What exactly is it that you are concerned might happen?

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  75. Because you can be sure the staff will be hypersensitive to any such situations going forward. Pretty simple, I'm not sure why you have such difficulty comprehending this.

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  76. "I rlly don’t myself to be the focus of so much discussion"

    Uh huh.

    "but…Eidensohn just posted an entire post just for me on his website"

    A big day for her.

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  77. You want it both ways, huh? They're trustworthy when you quote them, but not when your opponents do. Makes sense that you have heroes like these.

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  78. That's just it. Halachicly no beis din (outside the very rare in contemporary times kehilla structure you mentioned) has jurisdiction unless it was agreed to by all parties to the case or it is zabla. And without halachic jurisdiction a beis din halachicly cannot impose itself or its psak on any party, and any ruling it issues is not halachicly binding on anyone.

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  79. Taka, I could've posted what you just wrote instead.

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  80. What a macho man you are.

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  81. It is patently obvious that whatever Meisels did wrong it was a halachic violation but NOT a secular criminal violation. The entire system has already thrown everything and the kitchen sink at Meisels, RICO, blogs, leaks, wild accusations, etc. But yet not one person has given prosecutors any information of a crime despite being advised it is permissible.



    They are trying to bring down Meisels and anything he was ever affiliated with, as hard as possible. A criminal indictment would have been the greatest coup against him and the seminaries that could have been brought against him. And yet it never happened. Clearly this is because nothing he ever did has come remotely close to constitution a crime under secular law. Negiah with persons over 18 is not considered a criminal offense by any district attorney.



    So however bad halachicly his actions were, it never rose to the level of it being a crime.

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  82. If (theoretcally) meisels would be castrated, would you be ok with him teaching girls and running seminaries again in the future?

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  83. What admission? I haven't seen any admission. Have you?

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  84. Truthseeker is a sad, lonely girl, at odds with her family, with no friends. (I'm not guessing here, as a little proof lets just say triplets).
    She is finally getting some attention and feeling important, by turning on the Rabbi she idolized.
    Please don't feed her craving for attention by addressing her posts directly. It's very clear that she is flattered by her 'personal post' on this blog.
    Unless you meant it as a chessed, just to give a lonely soul some attention.
    In that case, I salute you as a Baal Chessed.

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  85. If you can't follow whats been said numerous times, than perhaps you should stop commenting here. No I'm not going to copy and paste the relevant comments for you as you keep requesting everybody do for your repetitive comments.

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  86. Why dont ask attention seeker what she thinks and repost her response?

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  87. Agreed. Unless he is your rav, that is.

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  88. And on schedule, the victim bashers come out. Where have you been? Go and feel good about yourself now that you've insulted a victim.

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  89. Verification of AddressAugust 22, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Honesty.....................
    I googled "Deciet" , I only found "DECEIT" . Maybe it was a typo .

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  90. My understanding was that Rabbi Meisels was involved in the recruiting process for Peninim. And that he allegedly began targeting girls during the recruitment stage. Thus, if this allegation has any merit, he would now be thinking about these girls. These girls are possibly at risk of being stalked and approached, if not at the school, then perhaps somewhere in public.

    "Hi, remember me?"

    "We've bern told not to have anything to do with you."

    "Nothings going to happen here...it's a pizza shop."

    "Get lost."

    "How's school?"

    "Lousy. No friends, lots of rules, and I don't like the classes. Where's all the fun my sister and her friends told me they had at Peninim? The discussions, going to teachers' houses for overnights? I think some of the girls are jealous of me."

    "And they have what to be jealous of."

    "Oh...you think so?"

    "Yes. From the first time we met."

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  91. Continuing with your deciet and snarkiness.

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  92. You seem to really like the word "snarky".

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  93. Joseph, I did not consider that and you are correct. He most probably did meet with all of this year's students

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  94. Wait, bc someone said in a comment that meisels admitted that means he admitted?! Please use your critical thinking for a moment and consider. The only way we "know" that meisels admitted is bc the CBD says he did. We have not seen any proof whatsoever of this. No recording. No signed paper. Nothing. Yet you are willing to trust them. The CBD also alleges that meisels raped more than 40 girls. To which you say woah! Please provide proof, I "heard" all he did was hug a problem girl. Either accept the CBD or don't. Do not pick and choose to trust them when it convenient for your argument. Well, at least your name is not honesty.

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  95. The fact that she claims to be a victim does not make her one. You choose to believe her claim. Y cohen does not.

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  96. "I'm just wondering, why is the IBD hanging on to this case tooth and nail. ... Why don't they just hand it back to the CBD"

    Spoken like a true am haaretz. The shtar beirurin obligates the beis din to hear the din. Unlike the sad sacks in Chicago, they are an actual beis din of yorei shomayim, and take their obligations seriously. They will have no trouble investigating the claims on their own.

    The suggestion they hand it back to the CBD is beyond ludicrous.

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  97. No, I just read between this drama queen's lines.

    "Macho man?" Haven't heard that one in decades. You need to get out more.

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  98. "The CBD says they only wanted the IBD to get rid of meisels"

    Untrue. They had already gotten rid of him on May 19th. Their purpose in going to the IBD was something else entirely.

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  99. Are you actually this dense? I believe Meisels did negiah because he admitted to it, not b/c the CBD says he did it. The point is that even those who believe the CBD cannot claim more than negiah, b/c the CBD itself claimed nothing more in their letter.

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  100. "Yes meisels should be made to pay dearly for all the lives he's ruined.... The only thing for him to do would be to either try and seduce or rape a girl he has not met before"

    You know of lives he's ruined? Or of girls he's raped? Of course not. You're just repeating as fact the sick fantasies of your hero Fuerst.

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  101. This is what google produced for me:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Deciet

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  102. Sadly you missed the point. The issue was one of procedure ; Rav Elya clearly agreed with the IBD regarding the Bet Din process that when there are enough boys making a kol about someone, that person must be removed. That's what happened with Meisels. However, if there is such a strong rei-isa in the added claims as there are in this case, then a different process must be followed.

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  103. All this is when there is no serious rei-isa in the new accusations. In a case where there is a serious rei-isa, as there is over here (Baryon-in-chief Gottesman), then eidus must be in front of the BD. Simple.

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  104. This is not a one time action that they may not have been aware of. The reality is that Meisels has reportedly been doing this for years.

    Ari, where did you pick up this "info" from? Whats your proof to this? Why was the CBD not aware of this in May?

    The CBD are either criminally negligent or criminally incompetent, and in neither instance would a half normal parent trust their proclamations and meddling with the well-being of their daughter.

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  105. LOL


    Good one, "Moshe". Thanks for the hug offer. Hey, are you trying to entrapment here? In your book, a hug can become "kol dovor ossur".

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  106. You're a good fiction writer. Always a stretch further of what the reality can be.

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  107. If no one accused them why were they in BD at all. Was it just convened for group therapy or to swap lesson plans?

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  108. Why would they have an obligation to investigate them if there were no charges? Did the Beis din also check the smoke alarms and the food safety, and kashrush standards?

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  109. The main impression resulting from the numerous posts published on this blog about the dispute between the CBD and the IBD is that Batey Din cannot be trusted. As of these posts, they look like foolish amateurs who have no idea about jurisdiction.

    Bottom line: if you have a dispute, don't go to a beith din, justice will not be served there.

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  110. actually, she is not victim and does not claim to be a victim. She just claims to be a witness to coverups.

    But there are not only victim-bashers, but also witness-bashers, and they might be the main reason why neither victims, nor witnesses have great incentive to come out and testify.

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  111. "It is patently obvious that whatever Meisels did wrong it was a halachic violation but NOT a secular criminal violation."
    No, this is not patently obvious. It might well be repeated criminal acts we are talking about.

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  112. I highly doubt the claim that he raped any girl. Being that if he did i really hope for everyone's sake he would be in jail by now at least it should have been reported which is why in my opinion it was for sure all consensual maybe even only negiah

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  113. Get a grip. In no way is Meisels being defended. It was good he was forced out of the schools. He belongs nowhere close to them.


    The point of WHAT Meisels did is highly relevant to the discussion. And nowhere has any evidence been produced that it has even been ALLEGED by any of the students that Meisels engaged in any kind of activity that would constitute a crime under secular law.


    A negiah violation, whilst not a crime with consenting 18 year old adults, is an abominable violation of Jewish law that cannot be ignored. But at least we know what we are dealing with here.

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  114. The CBD also alleges that meisels raped more than 40 girls.


    Have they put in writing?
    Have they shared their proof?
    They have shared their recordings of their accusations and the confession. Oops, Mr. "Moshe" - what will your retort be now? I'm patiently awaiting your silliness.

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  115. "And I like this strategy of answering every question with "that's already been answered in the comments". Very slick."

    For some strange reason you are the only one to receive that response from numerous people.

    We don't need the CBD to know what he agrees to, the seminary staff is aware of that and of the nature of the admission.I have also heard this from people close to the matter. If the CBD has proof to the contrary, let them release it. Now they are just letting rumors fly, as imaginations and fantasies are far more effective at destroying somebody than actually specifying what was done.

    In any case, there is no basis for you to proclaim "for all the lives he has ruined" as there is absolutely zero evidence that has happened.

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  116. I second the motion..I had decided myself to post this as well. It's one thing if M***B*** alias "truthseeker" fools around with Lopin. They clearly need one another. But she doesn't deserve the attention she's getting here on this blog.
    She paid almost nothing for first year, and got second year free...
    had therapy paid for too..everyone knew it, she told it to all the girls and the staff..how she could never repay Rabbi M for all he did, and how the staff of Pninim literally saved her life.

    Well apparently she's the cat of nine lives, because she no longer remembers what anyone did for her..
    Her friends begged her to stop, but she doesn't remember any good anymore, there's only bad in her warped mind.
    I'd vote to ignore her.

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  117. do you honestly believe he raped one girl never mind 40 and the CBD knows about this and did not go to the police? if you do believe he raped anyone and its not reported why are you not advocating to both the CBD and the IBD to go to the police

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  118. 1. Is your reading comprehension up to par? See above; I specifically said "nowhere has EVIDENCE been produced".

    2. Where has even the CBD said he raped? You got that off the rumor grapevine? Someone posting that claim on this or any other blog or website, even if the blog owner, does not make that so and certainly is not evidence that such an allegation was even ever made.

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  119. that doesn't answer the question of why the CBD would not want him off the streets and report it themselves? once you say that its rape and not consensual whats stopping him from raping other girls not students who hes never met before?

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  120. "But there are not only victim-bashers, but also witness-bashers,"

    And there are also liars and fantasists, of whom this girl might be one. You may choose to believe her claims; others may choose otherwise.

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  121. David is correct. He was accused of, and admitted to, nothing more than negiah. The rest was fabricated by the CBD, especially Fuerst, who has been more inventive than the others. His imagination runs amok, nebach.

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  122. I do not understand why this so complex. Rav Elya did not require eidus in the presence of the accuser which the IBD claims is required. (Period)


    More importantly, having just spoken to a parent of an intended Peninim student (who now has no intention of sending his daughter) the idea that the rest of the staff did not know what was going on is pathetic. As he said to me - given the physical layout of Peninim either the staff did know and were complicit, or they did not know and they were incompetent. Either way he will not be entrusting his daughter to these teachers.

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  123. correct facts pleaseAugust 23, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    She she says openly in her comments that she is NOT a victim nor does she even know of one! Go figure.

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  124. Do you work at pninim?

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  125. I do not understand why this so complex. Rav Elya did not require eidus in the presence of the accuser when when there does not exist a huge rei-isa which the IBD agrees with. When claims have a huge suspicion/rei-isa, then ensuring truth requires the presence of the accused.

    More importantly, having just spoken to a parent of an intended Peninim student



    Why is this more important to you????!


    Since you have deemed this (lynch mob) more important, in the absence of actual evidence, I don't believe this. I believe you lied.

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  126. Presumably, because those who have access to it have not seen the need to post it. What a pointless question.

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  127. " I have no idea."

    Exactly. And yet you natter on ...

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  128. Do you work for Gottesman?

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  129. I have seen just as much evidence for rape


    Clearly and concisely, please present your evidence. Thank you.


    If you choose to go through some tangent or other escape of presenting clear evidence in a concise manner, then of course you're lying. Glad we can get this out of the way.

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  130. You seem to really like being snarky.

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  131. I mean that there is no verified information that any girl even claimed to the CBD that anything occurred against her that would constitute criminal activity. If the CBD would announce that it might be believable. But all we have are bloggers making claims.

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  132. "R eidensohn himself said from CBD insiders that they are alleging that, and I have no reason to believe he lied. Everything he has "leaked" or posted has turned out to be completely accurate."

    R Eidensohn has also commented quite a few times about the nature of the admission. So why do you keep on questioning that?

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  133. a) Which is no evidence at all for either scenario. So it is quite possible for one claim and not the other to be credible.

    b) Even if the CBD thought none of the girls would be willing to report or testify to the police, the CBD would STILL have an obligation to report it to the authorities and the public so the public could be protected. The authorities would not leave the claim uninvestigated even if the victims didn't want to proceed or cooperate. They still need to protect the public at large.

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  134. The official B"D documents posted on this site refer to an admission by him (without being specific.)

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  135. Even if the CBD thought none of the girls would be willing to report or testify to the police, the CBD would STILL have an obligation to report it to the authorities and the public so the public could be protected. The authorities would not leave the claim uninvestigated even if the victims didn't want to proceed or cooperate. They still need to protect the public at large.

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  136. once again if its true that he reaped 40 girls what does kicking him out of the seminaries do to save any random girl not students of his? Also I don't know statistics but 1 out of 40 should agree to go the the police.

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  137. Let's take your reasoning to it's logical extreme. People, especially girls, who are indigent and go to a therapist: it's "open season" on them. And if they dare raise their voice in complaint we will smash them to smithereens.

    Good one.

    I'm not here to defend all who comment and post on blogs -- everyone is aware that life online is not all cookies and soda. But that doesn't mean we have to put up with anonymous blasts that smear those who are the most down and out.

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  138. correct facts pleaseAugust 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I have been asked to represent 30 + ex-friends of Truthseeker who have emailed my daughter over the past 48 hours asking her to ask me to be more specific regarding their issues with her posts. They have 3 major issues: 1. she reinterprets innocent interactions with meisels in arayos oriented fashions. My daughter says she and her friends were witness to many of the scenarios she spoke of. She said they were in no way inappropriate at all. (My daughter is a real frum BY girl.) My daughter and her friends claim that those reinterpretations were Truthseeker's inventions (maybe even wishes). The exchanges were meaningless at the time, there was nothing inappropriate about them. Truthseeker made up the arayos element. 2. She speaks about victims as if she knows of them. She doesn't know about any victims (as she herself does mention from time to time in her comments) nor was she one herself. My daughter and her friend's don't know of any either. Once again figments of her imagination. 3. She incriminates faculty members with delusional myths of cover-up schemes. Truthseeker contrived them all and Lopin ran with them. My daughter said that she and her friends have spoken to her openly about the stories she has litereally MADE UP about staff but Truthseeker has lost all sense of reality.

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  139. Yes, I am gottesman. Now that you enlightened us with your clever line, please go back to your cave and let those of us who want to get back to serious conversation. It's just that you're so much smarter than the rest of us that we have a hard time fiollowing what you say.

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  140. Right, I forgot. If you can't save everyone, save no one.

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  141. So let's get this straight. If the CBD tells the IBD something and they write it down and leak it to a blog that's evidence. But if the CBD tells R eidensohn something who writes it on his blog that's just baseless drivel.


    Also, I'm going to make a split some hairs here, please bear with me. There is a difference between evidence of an admission and evidence of someone saying there was an admission.

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  142. The CBD has never provided me directly with evidence. My knowledge of the CBD comes from documents that they have sent or public announcements or from my communiction with people who have had dealings or discussions with the CBD.

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  143. a) correct. so we can either just pick what to believe or flip a coin or even invent new stories, the possiblities are endless! whatever you want. probably more chance of being right though by flipping a coin that has no preconceived notions.


    b) You're right, unless they know for certain it will do more harm than good. I'm not saying they're doing the right thing, I don't know. If they would be able to save ppl by reporting it and don't they should be held accountable. But we have no indication one way or another. Maybe they did go to the police and we don't know about it.

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  144. Clearly and concisely please present your evidence of negiah/hugging. Thank you.

    If you choose to go through some tangent or other escape of presenting clear evidence in a concise manner, then of course you're lying. Glad we can get this out of the way.

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  145. For what it's worth, I went back last night and found TruthSeeker's original posts on this issue on YL's blog. Her first posts said that if Meisels was out, everything would be fine. She said that anyone who pulled their daughter out if he was gone was crazy. She also said that no one should say anything negative about the teachers because they are all wonderful. Somewhere along the way, her view changed. I posted that comment to YL's blog but it seems it didn't past muster.
    And yet people say that RDE only posts comments that he likes.
    Everything I have said here is a simple, verifiable fact. No opinions at all. Interpret as you wish.

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  146. Presumably those who have access to evidence of rape have not seen the need to post it. What a pointless comment. See, I can do it too.

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  147. Could you post one of her e-mails, obviously taking out any identifying information. That would help to prove that she is blowing smoke. Everyone here is looking for proof of everything. This seems to be something that could be easy to show without harming anyone (Truthseeker has already harmed herself).

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  148. I'm not questioning one any more than the other. It's people like you who are willing to accept claims of an admission but not claims of rape. All I am doing is trying to hold the accusations of negiah to the same level of proof as accusations of rape. Why is that unreasonable and so hard to understand?

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  149. Thank you for clarifying. Have you seen any more evidence to the claim of the admission than to the claim of rape? The opposite? Equal? Is there any reason right now for an outside observer (like the commenters here) based strictly on evidence to accept one claim over the other (other than it being harder to believe a chashuv rabbi would actually rape his students than just touch them)?

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  150. no so report it to the police and save everyone and R Eidensohn can you please clarify the reports of rape?

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  151. a) since you agree to my point, by definition you must concede there is no evidence of anything more serious than negiah.

    b) RDE/DTs point in faulting the CBD for failing to report to the police was that there was nothing serious enough to constitute a crime that must be reported to the authorities, and rather the CBDs lack of reporting it demonstrates the claims of it being more serious is not true.

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  152. But no one needs proof at this point of negiah. Everyone agrees Meisels admitted to something. If anyone wants to insist it was more than negiah they need to demonstrate that. No one has done so.

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  153. But no one needs proof at this point of negiah. Everyone agrees Meisels
    admitted to something and therefore was forced out of the seminaries. If
    anyone wants to insist it was more than negiah they need to demonstrate
    that. No one has done so.

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  154. I hope Rabbi Eidensohn recorded the CBD saying that. It would be worth millions in a libel suit.

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  155. Why is it so unreasonable for you to understand that his admission was only for negiah related issues?

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  156. Moshe: How can one know it is only rape? Maybe it's gang rape, and he took 20 girls to a group of buddies who all raped the girls. And the parents and girls are petrified of never being able to get married if they report it. Or maybe one of the girls even died during rough sex. So maybe it's actually murder. Do you have any evidence it is only rape and not gang rape or murder?



    Maybe he's a serial killer as more than one of the girls died. Any evidence otherwise?

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  157. There is no verified information that any girl even claimed to the CBD anything (even not criminal) that would require meisels to be removed from the seminaries. Why are you ok with taking away someone's hard earned job and money with no proof?

    I'll tell you why. Bc the CBD said so and you believe them. The CBD is the only way we know anything about these accusations, even the IBD admitted they don't know bc the CBD refuses to share.

    But now you choose to only to believe half of what they say? Why? Perhaps you choose to only believe that which they "announce" publicly bc as you say that "might be believable" but then when they speak privately to r eidensohn's sources they become compulsive liars. Flawless logic.


    Oh, but i'm sure you also recall that they also "announced publicly" that based on their information they still don't think the schools are safe. All of a sudden they're not so believable anymore.

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  158. Yes, you can. Go right ahead.

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  159. a) So obviously you agree to my point that there is no evidence of anything more serious than smiling. And yes, if there is no evidence of negiah then obviously there is no evidence of anything more than negiah. you got it.


    b) So what you have done here based on your assumptions is put yourself in a corner with 2 choices: Either the CBD is telling the truth and they are negligent in reporting or they are liars who are not negligent in reporting. You choose liars. Someone else reading your comments may choose negligent.

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  160. @Moshe Meisels confessed to behavior that required his dismissal. Repeat that 300 times and then try moving on. The confession is recorded. It doesn't require the CBD .

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  161. "The shtar beirurin obligates the beis din to hear the din."


    Written like a true am haaretz. In absolutely no way does signing a shtar beruruin obligate the dayanim to hear the case. You just made that up wholesale. A brazen lie. Or just complete ignorance. DID YOU EVEN READ THE SHTAR IN THIS CASE. Why don't you point to the line that requires this? Or to the signatures of the dayanim? I know why, bc they don't exist.


    The only thing greater then your ignorance is your hubris.

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  162. I am not saying he didn't. I never did. Repeat that 300 times. We have not seen any evidence to it though. Saying a recording exists IS NOT evidence.

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  163. Actually one can ask the same of you. I care only about the safety of students - what do you care about; protecting rabbanim who can not admit they made a mistake? Accusing people of lying is a pathetic response when you simply do not have an authentic one.


    What is the rei-isa? The facts are crystal clear. The claim of there being a rei-isa is a weak excuse to protect those who enabled a sexual predator to operate freely.

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  164. Why jump down poor Moshe's throat. He says he has no idea. He's just innocently asking questions, see?

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  165. I am not sure what you are talking about. Did you read the teshuva? We are speaking of the need for these girls to give testimony in front of the accused (or the staff members) - according to the simple reading of the teshuva this is not required. Period.



    What is the rationale for not following that here?


    Happy to discuss - but stay on point and be specific.

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  166. I'm way too smart for that. I don't work for anyone. I own an independently run business in RBS, imports and exports. I have inside info for the simple reason that I don't live in Chicago. So I'm not blinded by Furst and co.
    Nor do I live in the Five Towns, so Gottesman never did me a favor..
    So I can be my own person, get the info, and draw conclusions..while enlightening all the Americans with blurred vision.
    So now i'm a lot less anonymous than some of you pseudonyms.

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  167. Meisels voluntarily quit the seminaries. There was an obvious reason. And it wasn't because he reached retirement age. He agreed to leave as a result of what he did. Agreed. That doesn't mean he committed a criminal offense in the eyes of the justice system. It can mean he committed an offense in the Torah system.

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  168. The fact that Meisels agreed to immediately leave the seminaries is an unambiguous demonstration that he admitted to some wrongdoing in halacha. It does not demonstrate he committed a criminal act.

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  169. Let me explain. Honesty does not own and did not read or even come close to reading the yeshurun volume in question. He did not read or even glance at the article by r shafran to r gartner. But he will not admit it. Instead he will throw around terms like "re'isa" and similar gemara terms so that to the unlearned readers here he looks like he knows what he's talking about.


    Or, more likely (my sources have told me this from honesty) gottesman being the editor of that yeshurun forged and planted that article years in advance knowing that in the future when he frames meisels to scheme the seminaries away from him at firesale prices so he can retire to luscious lakewood to live out his twilight years he will have this teshuva to rely on.

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  170. @Puzzled - please tell me how this teshuva which deals with the issue of rodef and danger to children is relevant to the present case?

    לכ' הרה"ג מדייני דעיה"ק יררשלם ת"ר מהרר"ר צבי גרטנר שליט"א, שרכ"ט למעכ"ת.

    א. בנוגע להורה או מחנך שפוגע כבנר אר בתלמידו שמעכ"ת נדבר אתי עם אחד מחשובי העסקנים מארה"ב בעניני חינוך בעניך שאלות בנושא זה. א. בנרגע להעברת העביד לשלטונות כפי שחוקי המדינות שם ]וגם כאן[ מחייבים לדווח וכפי שנקרא בלשונם ] mandated reporting ( והיודע על פגיעה פיזית או מינית בקטין או בחסר ישע ואינו מדווח הרי זה גופא עבירה שנענש עליה. האם מותר לדווח או חייבים לדווח. ב. האם אפשר לחייב את הפוגע בבדקי הנפגע, מדובר בהרצאות פסיכולוגיות גדולות וממושכרת של שנים רבות ולפעמים פסיכיאטריות, ולפעמים אין תרופה למכתר רק הרופא יכול להקל על הנפגע איך לחיות עם בעייתו. ג. מה הם דרכי הבידור בזה, איזה בי"ד, איזה עדויות וכר'.

    Is our case dealing with mandated reporting? If it is then the CBD is required to report it. Is it dealing with children or adults? is it dealing with rape or touching?

    We are dealing with a case with the accused has convfessed and been removed.

    Regarding the possible complicity of teachers through incompetence or negligence - I don't see that is a case of rodef - especiallywith the introduction of various decrees and safeguards.

    Therefore we are dealing with a judgment of the past without the aspect of danger and without mandated reporting and - please show me how Rav Shafran is disagreeing with the IBD's conduct?

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  171. @Moshe - as I replied to puzzled Rav Shafran is dealing with children, mandated reporting, rodef i.e., present danger etc etc. He is not addressing our case.

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  172. I was just wondering how you got such inside information.

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  173. R eidensohn, I agree with you that this particular teshuva is irrelevant. I only was showing what is dishonest ignoramus."honesty" is. An intelligent reply would be what you just did. Not some spouting off about re'isas as if he has the slightest idea what he's talking about.


    I guess that's the benefit of having to publicly justify your position- any knowledgeable reader can tell in 2 seconds who knows what they're talking about and who's just hurling meaningless rhetoric. "Honesty's" own words are the best argument against him.

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  174. Rabbi Eidensohn,


    Will you challenge this anonymous commenter with McCarthyism? Since facts matter, will you ask her to cough up her list of 30 names, assuming such exists? Just asking?

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  175. I just want to say one thing: yes this girl truthseeker is a desperate and pathetic girl who obviously has a buttload of issues..who in their right mind would publicly bash a person who helped her so much?
    I also happen to know as a fact, (considering that i went to pninim a number of years ago and have been in touch with ppl from there since then) that rabbi meisels had always planned on slowly backing away from the seminaries...the whole scandal may have forced him to make a quick exit, but this was his plan all along.
    However, i still dont see any evidence to any abuse. I just see actions being taking by the CBD and IBD..but no cause for them

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  176. @Yerachmiel Lopin - I am glad to see you are such an avid reader of my blog and that you are starting to notice some of my points.

    Yes I mentioned the dangers of McCarthyism - but an anonymous commentator on a blog is not McCarthyism. McCarthyism is not referring to anyone who claims proof of guilt or some fact but doesn't show it. If that were the issue than we would both have to close down our blogs since most comments make assertions of some type without actually producing proof.

    It generally refers to people who have authority who make unsubstanitated claims of disloyalty or being subversive. Thus for example if you claimed that you had proof of 100 pedophiles that were working in Yeshiva - but never presented the evidence - that would be McCarthyism. If you were a beis din and claimed that the staff of certain seminaries were infiltrated by teacher who faciliated or were complicity in sexual abuse of students - but you never prodced the evidence that would enable the arrest and firing of that staff - that is McCarthyism. If you - claimed that you had a list of 30 rabbis that would testify that the IBD was corrupt that is McCarthyism. But if the same claime was by an anonymous commentator - that is simply slander not McCarthyism.

    President Truman wrote about the Eisenhower administration:

    t is now evident that the present Administration has fully embraced, for political advantage, McCarthyism. I am not referring to the Senator from Wisconsin. He is only important in that his name has taken on the dictionary meaning of the word. It is the corruption of truth, the abandonment of the due process law. It is the use of the big lie and the unfounded accusation against any citizen in the name of Americanism or security. It is the rise to power of the demagogue who lives on untruth; it is the spreading of fear and the destruction of faith in every level of society.[110]

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  177. RDE, I know that this point has been raised but I have not seen it answered: Why does the IBD require that the testimony be heard in the presence of the accused offender or the staff member accused of covering up the abuse? That would be understood if it was relevant to financial reimbursement, but if it only to help the IBD assign blame for past actions and to decide on staff member's employment going forward, why would it not be the type of case where the practice (and according to R' Shafran) is to hear the testimony without the opposing side present? The iBD could always follow up with any accused staff members, thus preserving the anonymity of the accusers.

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  178. The true believers in Meisels can't accept that he has been found guilty by two בתי דין and express their anger by attacking "truth seeker" for having the audacity to openly describe Meisel's behavior at Peninim as more than iinnappropriate. She is the traitor. Tragically it these supporters who need help . Meisels created an environment where students were trained to seek his approval. This is consistent with the pattern of behavior of other abusers in religious communities who ran institutions.
    The attempt to minimize his actions by labeling them only נגיעה is part of the same denial.

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  179. correct facts pleaseAugust 25, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    I wanted to list the names, I though it would be more effective. The girls asked me not to. I respected their wishes.
    Speaking of anonymity, my daughter and her friends feel very strongly that I should post Truthseeker's real name. They feel that people should know who she is so they will know not to trust her.
    I told them I have to think about it as I'm not sure it is the right thing to do. I still might do it. I told them that if they feel it is right, they should post it themselves. I'm going to give it more thought.

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  180. Rabbi Blau do you have direct knowledge that Meisels confessed to more than inappropriate touching?

    What do you mean that two beis dins found him guilty? Was it based on more than his confession?

    Do you know truthseeker and therefore are defending her because you know she is telling the truth? Are you claiming she actually witnessed more than "inappropriate touching"?

    If you don't know her and don't know whether she is telling the truth - what relevance with your observation that Meisels created an environment
    where students were trained to seek his approval?

    Isn't it a fact that most religious training involves getting the students to want to seek approval of the teacher/rebbe? Why is this being described in pathological terms?

    Bottom line - you are describing a psychological pattern which is typical of all religious institutions Actually the same pattern exists in secular education. While it definitely can be taken advantage of for abuse - it also can be a powerful technique for spiritual and psychological growth.

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  181. @Yehoshua - I just added material to the post which addresses your concerns. Thank you for being insistent - it helped clarify the matter.

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  182. Moshe - please don't give RDE a pass (I am surprised that you agree with his take on the relevance, did you read the teshuva?). The discussion in the teshuva relates to an educator who molested a student. The response - specifically regarding the method of taking testimony is broad reaching and not limited to minors - or, in my opinion where there is a "rodef" situation (and parenthetically - without establishing the facts - who knows if their remains danger to the students - the only way to determine that is to take testimony).

    It sets out the halachic basis for hearing testimony of the victims without making them face people who will intimidate them, etc. All of which apply in this case.

    The attempt to limit the applicability of the teshuva is misplaced. Perhaps you should post the entire teshuva? I think the part I cited above is immediately relevant (I can't easily post the portion).

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  183. R. Blau: NO ONE is not accepting his guilt. But you can't go around saying he's guilty of first-degree murder because he is guilty of something. Where do you get that he is guilty of what you say he is? Perhaps it is murder. Perhaps he is guilty of assault and grand larceny. Since he's guilty of something apparently anyone can pin any crime against him.

    And how do YOU know others are guilty facilitating such an environment. No others have been found as such. Yet you make that presumption.

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  184. When you ask such tough questions you shouldn't expect answers.

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  185. I have news for you, Correct Facts Please. Up till now Ms. Seeker's comments online were anonymous hoots from the peanut gallery, albeit, hoots with shards of accusations that should be investigated. But who has the time or inclination to investigate? You out her, and she becomes the Poster Girl for those of us who've had enough of this freak show of educators who act in ways that practically invite allegations, guilty or not. Seeker has stated she complained to no less than four employees of Rabbi Meisel's. So go ahead, go right ahead and out her, and I will then be motivated to contact her and follow up on her statements. I will hunt down the teachers she spoke with and I will confront them. Then we will learn whose facts are correct, shall we not?

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  186. Don't post we name but post her email. That will be proof enough of what she is doing. No need to Completely humiliate her. That is a bit too far.

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  187. correct facts pleaseAugust 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Rabbi Blau, the girl is not honest. Fact. She is not a victim and writes openly that she is not, nor does she know any. I am shocked you would/could write such a comment..

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  188. Hvaing just read the updated,material, I am now more disappointed with the IBD as this explanation revelas a lack of understanding on what vicitms of sexual abuse feel. (Before i continue let be clear- I am not saying that the other staff members engaged in inapproprite behavior nor am I specifying excatly what Meisels did. What is clear is that he behaved inappropriately with students and there is a clear claim that the staff knew and did nothing.)

    The feeling of helplessness and violation that occurs is not akin to regular monetary disputes and forcing young women to testify in front of a strange group of men as well as the very teachers they felt let them down and be victimized, is incredibly diffcult. These are not two equal ba'alei din; it is students having to go up against authority figures. There is a reason why only one woman testifed against Weberman in court even though many more offered her (the victim) support and claimed that they ahd undergone the same experiences. Any Bet Din who has ever dealt with these type of cases understands the reality of these challenges and therefore while they do not accept the claims at face value (as people can lie etc.) they let each side present the facts, and they consult with true experts and go back to the participants for further details before coming to a conclusion.

    Once again, if we are really concerned with the welfare of incoming Peninim students that is the direction one would take. Hiding behind technical procedures in normal Bet Din protects abusers as anyone with actual experience in this field sadly knows.

    Finally it is striking that the IBD felt qualified in ascertaining if the teachers and staff were lying without any students present to rebut their claims and when they had every reason to lie, but they can not even hear testimony from the accusers whose own lives can be ruined (as they will be hurt in the realm of shidduchim and will have their families and reputations attacked - as always occurs when people speak up in the frum world and which has happened on this blog) without the teahcers present out of fairness.

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  189. @Avraham - I suggest you reread the post again. You seem to have skipped some significant parts.

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  190. @puzzled - I suggest you reread the post - I added some additional material today.

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  191. Yes, I am gottesman.

    Another half truth by you. LOL

    I'll get to it tonight, but I'll link some of your posts which clearly shows a deep emotional connection to a book Gottesman edited. Hmmm. Oh yeah, why is your profile private? It makes it so much more difficult to link your previous posts. Don't worry, I'll get to it. ;-)

    Now that you enlightened us with your clever line, please go back to your cave and let those of us who want to get back to serious conversation.



    LOLOL


    Is this a meek attempt at defending yourself? LOL Nice try, but try again. Isn't this about a serious conversation?!

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  192. And as expected, you went straight to a tangent and avoided answering. Hmm.


    Obviously you have not a shred of evidence. Cool.

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  193. Presumably those who have access to evidence of rape have not seen the need to post it.


    LOLOL


    Is the issue of rape a comic show to you? If a person has been raped, and its not being dealt with it's vitally important for the evidence to be made public. In fact, it is absolutely murderous not to present the evidence.


    However, to a jokester, throwing around rape and causing people not to take it seriously is all permissible for a few bucks or for vindictiveness. Nice.

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  194. I only was showing what is dishonest ignoramus."honesty" is.

    LOLOL

    Try that again, please.

    any knowledgeable reader can tell in 2 seconds who knows what they're talking about and who's just hurling meaningless rhetoric. "Moshe's" own words are the best argument against him.



    I'll post and link a bunch of your comments tonight. It'll be a cool read.

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  195. Actually I did read it quite carefully and am saddened that my basic point has never been addresses. The key issue here is the desire of the IBD to take this case and treat it like other regular dinei torah when the very essence of sexual abuse cases is that they do not conform to standard guidelines and therefore they must be treated differently. By definition the victims/accusers (who technically are one and the same) are embarressed to share what happened to them and are incredibly indimated to do so in the presence of theier abusers (the accused) and/or their enablers. As such they are the classic exception to the rule - so to speak - and any Bet Din with a smattering of knowledge of this area would be sensitive to this issue.


    That does not mean that their testimoney is immediately accepted as truth; of course Bet Din would speak to the ther side and, as I noted earleir, consult with experts to determine whom has more credibillty and what steps the BD should take next to determine where the truth lies. However, starting with the assumption that the standard halachic principles apply is in itself incorrect.

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