Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Letter by Shua Finkelstein a"h

Baruch Pelta sent me the following:

[When I went to yeshiva, I was in the same shiur as one Shua Finkelstein. Shua was recently niftar -- if I understand correctly, he died in his sleep. The truth is that I barely knew Shua, but I understand that he wrote the following letter which was posted on the Facebook group established in his memory. He wanted it to be publicized and perhaps it can stand as some small tribute towards his own concern for his community]

There is thing called child molestation that we have all heard of we all know it happens in different places we all know maybe priests or that creepy uncle. Let me tell you a little about this thing and first hand what it can do to a kid. A frum child is molested he knows nothing about tummah and kedusha all he knows is that he was violated that his body is a toy thats what gets engraved into his brain not that he is a person worthy of respect but that he is an object a tool. This kid grows up he knows nothing of sex all he knows is that he is dirty and that his rabbis say sex is bad he doesn't understand he thinks he is bad any mussar shmooz he hears it directly at him and this innocent kid begins to believe of himself as a bad person.Nobody likes being bad he will look for a place with no expectations of him a place were he can be free to fit in a world where everybody is bad....Chances are he will either convince himself this is the normal and pass it in to another innocent child or he will resort to rebelling to prove to himself he is as bad as he thinks he is......Often he will find drugs to take him away to give him an escape from his horrible reality....That being said...Did you ever notice a support our troops symbol on the back of somebody's car? do you know what that represents? that means that thousands of miles there are people no different then yourself fighting a war and that we support them that gives them the morals they need to keep doing what they must do in order to protect us.I dont expect to see "save our kids" on the back of all of our cars but is it too much to ask that each and everyone of us do our part???I will not mention names but there was one play group accused cased closed and dealt with. thats a start but that should send a chill down your spine theses are kids we are talking about.... there is another play group that is still open after over 5 cases have been brought against it!!!!! do you love your kids???? theses are the same kids that some vaad in lakewood will put in ad in the paper to protect from cellphone texting or god forbid a concert but did you see an ad saying Guard your kids!!!!?DO research!!!!! If your in doubt dont send them there! A play group that has had 5 allegations against it is still open????? Of course its there parnasah we are so worried about... Maybe i should fill you in on some facts there is a jewish rehab whose name i will not mention that deals with kids whose lives are in danger i spoke to the intake administrator there about the cliental from Lakewood and i was told 99.% of all kids from lakewood Yes lakewood our holy town who doesn't allow text messaging were molested in this town!!!!! and that is what led to there addiction! now some facts of this rehab which has a high success rate 50% dont stay clean and out of all the jewish kids there that leave and relapse there is an average of 3 jewish souls that die a year!!! Murdered by you and me and all of us unwilling to take a stand against these people in our community the rabbis are scared to do anything? its political?? how dare they say that?? this is life and death we are killing kids over here we are condemning them to a life of misery of lonely depression and god forbid of passing on this horrible sickness.IT IS YOUR DUTY as a Jew, As a Human to find these people in our community and no longer let them live among us!!!! 'Oy le rosha Oy le schayno' I think over here we are all the reshoim if we sit back and do nothing!! and if you dare say you are worried that people in play groups will lose there jobs there is some math you may want to do. a rehab a 6 month program to give a molested kid a chance $5,000 per months totals $30,000 now this place on average has 20 kids per six months thats $60,000 do you want me to count in the average fee of therapy $150-per hour????? or maybe you want the numbers i got from the local funeral homes?????? WAKE UP!!!!!! Ask yourself honestly is it that you are truly concerned about this just isn't your place or do you just not know what to do? I think trying to be worried about innocent money just went the window....This cannot be hidden any more!!!!! you know something speak up!!! have you been thru this??? share your story, help create support groups Help publicize this letter share your story.... If you are an offender seek help it can be done your amends will not be easy but it can be done.You can make one fatal mistake and that is to try and hide and think you will get passed by come out help fix the wrong before you will no longer have that chance EVER. If we all get together as a town to help weed this community it can be done with minimal damage. Anybody innocent who may receive slight setbacks because of this consider it your part in saving a life. ASHRECHA--


  1. "This kid grows up he knows nothing of sex all he knows is that he is dirty and that his rabbis say sex is bad he doesn't understand he thinks he is bad any mussar shmooz he hears it directly at him and this innocent kid begins to believe of himself as a bad person"

    Although molestation is being discussed, here are some thoughts stimulated by this:

    Take anger, for example. On the one hand, you want to educate children to control, and rise above their anger. On the other hand, they have to relate to themselves as a person, who like it or not, is made up of multiple feelings, which intrinsically, should not be a reason to feel bad about.

    If yeshivos can't give this attitude for whatever reason, then it would be the parents' job. On the other hand, parents may need some training or advice in this area. Also, an article in Binah magazine made the point that some may be too shy to discuss this with parents.

    Back to this specific case(the above comments are in general, and have been percolating in my mind for some time), I hope the family and those who know this boy have a true nechama from the tragedy.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Dr. Eidensohn.

    I found out a little more details about Shua after I originally sent this post. For said details, see

  3. shua's family is selling pins, for $2 saying "i'm doing purim the sober way in memory of shua finkelstein"

    proceeds go to benefit "ashrecha", which was started as a result of this letter from shua.

    check out the facebook group in his memory for details.

  4. from Abba (Shua's father) yes our son left us with broken hearts and shattered dreams of making his wedding, holding his children and enjoying and crying with him in his successes and disappointments. But one thing is clear Shua only wrote this letter and other letters after he felt strong enough to take on this cause for the innocent children who are abused, in addition to many other causes he was working on. Shua was in process of starting a recovery house for lost children from his neighborhood and was setting up counseling and paying for it from his own money. Shua was also helping kids find jobs and encouraging them to hold on to them and help build their character. Shua was also planning to announce his engagement to the beautiful love of his life, which he made clear he wanted to do only when he was sure he had beaten the disease. I know Shua hopes and will be happy for anything we can do to help each other and ourselves. I love you my son and spilling many tears but grateful for the twenty years that Hashem let me have you.


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