Monday, June 10, 2013

Lakewood Wakeup! Your rabbis need to publicly apologize for their public abuse of Rabbi "S"

After Yosef Kolko publicly confessed to raping a child, there has been studied silence from his supporters. We are not talking about some psychopaths who enjoyed destroying a distinguished talmid chachom and his family and driving them out of Lakewood for trying to defend his son according to the halacha. We are talking about the rabbinical leadership of Lakewood who lynched one of its own. We are talking about rabbis who get up before their congregations and tell them that they should be good and not speak lashon harah. Rabbis who are makpid that everyone should observe the most exacting chumros of kashrus and Shabbos. Rabbis who have devoted their lives and considerable talents to building one of the most important Torah communities in the world. We are talking about the failure of the spiritual leaders of the community!

It is astounding to me -  as a fellow Torah Jew and human being - that these rabbis who led the lynch mobs against Rabbi "S" are now silent when it has been revealed to all intelligent rational beings that they were wrong about Yosef Kolko. I am ashamed that these rabbis who have set themselves as paragons of Torah knowledge and conduct - have failed in the most elementary task - to repent and to publicly apologize to the man that they recently terrorized in the name of halacha.

It is clear - as the letters I received from Rabbi Goldin (president of the RCA) and others show - that there are many who are very uncomfortable with the lack of menschlikeit and failure to follow the halacha of publicly apologizing for their egregious error. While there are in fact some of those who terrorized Rabbi "S" - who have apologized to him in private. and even publicly- these are the very rare exception.

As a consequence of the moral and halachic cowardice of these rabbis, Lakewood is splitting into two camps. There are many avreichim who are ashamed of their rabbis. Who have lost respect for them as moral leaders. Who now have no one to turn to for "daas Torah". These are hurt and bitter individuals who will pass on this poison of cynicism and distrust for rabbinical authority to their children.  They are afraid to speak up themselves because they are totally dependent on the "system" for their existence - but they no longer are believers in the "system". They have effectively dropped out - yet remain as a fifth column in our community. The other camp is no less dangerous. These are people who refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence of Yosef Kolko's guilt - and are convinced more than ever that the world is only interested in destroying frum yidden. These are fanatics who are not capable of dealing with reality themselves - but only accept that which there rabbis tell them.  Just as emunas chachomim was destroyed by the public fight between Rav Yaakov Emden and Rav Yonason Eybschuetz  in the 18th century and which prepared the ground for the destructive forces of Reform and the Haskala - so too is the clash between those who want to accept reality and those who deny it.

It is therefore important that people convey to the rabbis of Lakewood their pained feelings and damaged emunas chachomim. It is critical for these rabbis to be aware of the horrible price the Jewish people will pay for their failure to provide moral leadership. It is imperative that the Lakewood rabbis publicly apologize to Rabbi "S" and clear the poisonous atmosphere that has developed because of the Kolko case. From what I understand he would welcome the opportunity to forgive those who have hurt him and to get on with life. It is time to stop obsessing over minor factors for kids going off the derech as well as other suffering in our community and to stand up and confront the real problems. 


  1. "Who now have no one to turn to for "daas Torah". These are hurt and bitter individuals who will pass on this poison of cynicism and distrust for rabbinical authority to their children."

    Perhaps it is time for you and the rest of the Chareidi world to reevaluate your concept of "Daas Torah", whatever that means. No one to turn to for Daas Torah? Are the Rabbanim the Urim V'Tumim? Since when did we become Catholics with a concept of infallibility? Maybe this is a great lesson after all. I will say it slowly, try to absorb it...

    Rabbanim are great people with a great amount of Torah knowledge. I would give the the benefit of the doubt and assume they are correct BUT, they can and do also make mistakes (there is a Korban that is brought for a Beis Din that erred). It is time for people to grow up and not be so shocked that great Torah leaders say or do things that we think are wrong... 1) we may be the ones that are wrong. 2) they may be wrong... SO WHAT? Why should that shake our Emunas Chachamim? The Avos made mistakes, Moshe made a mistake, in fact the Gemara says that there were only 4 people that were never Choteh?

    The problem is that we have a distorted view of Emunas Chachamim and "Daas Torah", lets fix that and stop trying to get Rabbanim to apologize.

    1. Torah Truth- you are not reading what I write but are simply reading things in I never said. Your stereotype of Daas Torah is not what I am talking about. You are simply beating a dead horse. Read the introduction of the Igros Moshe. I am referring to opinions that are informed by Torah and therefore there can be multiple daas Torah's on a particular issue. I am not talking about an infallible prophetic utterance.

      It is astounding that you are saying that rabbis shouldn't have to apologize for their mistakes - what religion do you belong to?

    2. I am afraid that you are the one not reading what I write. I never said that the Rabbanim shouldn't apologize, I said that my Emunas Chachamin is not affected if they don't! (I happen to know Rav S very well and support him, he is a Talmid Chacham of rare caliber). When you say that there are people who have lost their Emunas Chachamim and now "have no one to turn to"... I say they should grow up and recognize that they can and do make mistakes... accept that and continue to look to them as Chachamim who may have made a mistake. I hope that clarifies my position.

    3. @Torah Truth -

      The problem we are dealing with on a widespread scale is not simply honest mistakes made by well intentioned rabbis.

      The problem we are dealing with in Lakewood and elsewhere is widespread politicized and corrupt rabbanim who operate like ruthless despots, harassing and terrorizing their opponents for their own personal gain, without answering to anyone.

      The Torah world today has become in certain ways a mirror image of non-Jewish society. Chairman Obama operates a soft Soviet style police state, spying on millions of US citizens and trampling all over their constitutional rights, while answering to no one. Corrupt rabbinic bosses, both MO and "Yeshivish", trample all over the Torah and terrorize their victims while answering to no one.

    4. This is not stam "Well, they're human, so of course they can be wrong." This is about moral corruption, perversion of decency and justice. About being in the 1% percentile of compassion and straight-thinking. It is that bad, isn't it? People should expect their rabbis to be human beings, but were they supposed to expect them to be blind and morally corrupt too?

    5. @Emes LeYaakoc et al: The issue of the post was not how they treated the victim, it was waiting for an apology and without it people lost their "Emunas Chachamim". My point is that stop thinking of your Chachamim as infallible and you wont have a crisis of faith!

    6. Torah Truth - Emunas Chachomim doesn't mean that you think that rabbis are infallible. The crisis of faith is the lack of apparent yashrus and midos.

    7. Daas Torah: Fair enough... but the point I was making was the distorted view that most/many have of Daas Torah/Emunas Chachamin.

      As for the Yashrus, I happen to have discussed this with 2 Rabbanim who were on the Bais Din involved with this case 2 years ago. While I believe Rav S to be in the right here and deserving of an apology, there is more to the story than what has been reported, B"H, and real reasons why the Rabbanim were upset with how this all transpired. I will not go into details here but as you know, not everything is black and white.


      Many of us are aware of the FULL timeline and do not know of anything R' S. (As he is being referred to here) did wrong.

      If you have something to present that can be reviewed for accuracy and logic by others we are ready to hear.

      But to try defend them with an innuendo that can't be verified?!? I'm sorry, that's dishonest.

      Such claims are particularity hard to believe in this case. It was open house on the family with so much motzi Shem rah said that was simply not true. You want us to blindly believe there was something else....

  2. Pleading guilty in American court is no proof or indication of guilt. We all now and have read many stories of innocent men jailed for even decades after pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit (as was later conclusively proven), but were effectively forced to plead guilty due to the system being stacked against them and a guilty verdict virtually assured despite their complete innocence.

  3. A few years back when the Tropper scandal blew wide open you had a post imploring Rav Reuven Feinstein, a big supporter of his, to make some kind of statement on the issue. Did you get a response then? Do you think you will now?
    The "Daas Torah" crowd is trapped. They have built an autocratic system based on Rabbinic infallibility. Admits that their Rabbonim made a mistake, that an erudite scholar with pious behaviour could still be in error, destroys their entire ideology. They'll do anything to prevent that.

    1. This is not the same. Not condemning someone is not the same as not taking back what YOU did. Here the rabbis did the avlah to a respected individual causing him to leave the community. They need to say they did something wrong. I don't need to say they did something wrong and condemn them.

    2. observer are you claiming there is no mitzva of tochacha?!

    3. there is a mitzvah of tochacha and a lav of lo sisne. whatever tochacha I need to give them I need to give them in a non public forum. I am not discussing what you are doing here though. I feel what you are doing is not condemning the rabbis as much as you are saying that someones life has been altered and you just sit by. I do not know the rabbis of whom you are referring though I am sure many do know. for me, your tochacha is not person specific as much as it is deed specific.
      hope I was clear.

  4. Once again you hit the nail on the head!!

    As one of the "many avreichim who are ashamed of their rabbis. Who have lost respect for them as moral" I would just add one important point. We are very very concerned for the welfare of our children!! IN THE CURRENT ATMOSPHERE NOBODY IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD REPORT A MOLESTER!!!

    Even as someone who has followed this story pretty closely, if Chas veshalom my child was molested I would not tell anybody.

    The apology that we demand from our toddlers should have come weeks ago. Many of us are hoping for something larger, like a "Kabalas Panim"....

  5. I have to add to my previous comment....

    After writing that if Chas veshalom my child was molested, in the current atmosphere I would just cover it up, I made an informal poll. And...


    1. Seriously? You don't have any rabanim that know you personally that wouldn't back you?

      side point: In such a scenario there probably is a chiyuv of "Lo Samod"

    2. no one would report it because "being chareidi (and not simply shomer mitzvot), getting into the right school, the right yeshiva, being a member of the right shul, etc" is more important than what exactly? your kid is still going to need help, you can't hide that. if your attitude is "don't say a word, hide what happened", you're putting him in a pretty awful position.

    3. Then you are saying you live in Sodom a place where forcible arayos cannot be stopped and the chiyuv of lo saamod is violated just as Reform Jews eat shrimp and ham. I understand the importance of friends and community. But if this is the norm how can Lakewood claim to be an Ir Kodesh, Jerusalem in Jersey?

  6. Some people would expect this total failure of an intimidation campaign to result in open soul-searching by those responsible. But what if the weapon of intimidation is too handy to let go of? Losing a court case here or there won't change that. Somehow, an alternative power center with proper Torah values has to materialize in the "company town", or else the outraged people now there would need to set up shop elsewhere. Not so easy, but essential.

  7. I must tell you that a silent majority off Lakewood are all the way with Rabbi S.
    Many Rabonim have a personal problem with the fact that at such a young age he outshined them. He is also a man of no smoke & mirrors nor airs & graces he does what is right at any cost. As one of his mispallelim put it, he has no problem coming down in his pajamas to answer a shailoh. Being so it may have got some of his contemporaries irritated, to Fagin is no easy task. I hate to say that may have been the route of the problem.
    As for those you call fanatics, many are really egoists, they may be very good people some of the time, but they are control freaks, and when it doesn't go their way ...
    As for the Hamoin Am, although they silently disapprove they know that today's Judaism, suffers of what the rest of the world suffers. "Corporatism"
    All governments have become corporations answering to other corporations. Unfortunately with exception to small out of town communities, our communities have also become corporations so have the moisdos, and here too, many bad guys run some of them, & many of the Rabbis & Admoirim, are on their paychecks and have to answer to their bosses.
    I feel that Corporate Judaism, needs a post of it's own. The production of stereotype slaves answering to their masters or else. We are tied down to their rules & regulations no matter how corrupt they may be, and how much they may have different rules for themselves. If you admit that you have an iPhone i.e you are the honest guy, your kids get tossed from a school where the CEO himself has an iPhone possibly the principal & many melamdim too, but you were stupid enough to tell the truth.
    WE are forcing people to lie & cheat & fake & that carries on in business & sometimes even marriage.
    The cure to this is that all these corporations hopefully will go bankrupt, & Yidden can be Yidden, & serve Hakodosh Boruch not the CEO Mafia bosses of corporate Judaism.

  8. Your prior post reported that Rabbi Belsky still believes Kolko to be innocent, despite the overwhelming evidence (yes, including the guilty plea) to the contrary.
    You may think that R Belsky is foolish, fooling himself, just plain wrong, or all of the above. But as a talmid chochom, shouldn't he be given the courtesy of taking him at his word that that is his sincerely held view?

    1. I am not denying that it is his sincerely held view. There clearly are people who are foolish and plain wrong. My obligation of tochacha is to point out that he is doing something foolish and creates a chillul hashem when he ignores that what is obvious to the average citizen. In addition there are rabbis in Lakewood who now acknowledge they made a mistake - but they will not do it publicly or apologize to their victim.

    2. You say that "there clearly are people who are foolish and plain wrong," yet your initial post clearly defies logic.
      You write that "After Yosef Kolko publicly confessed to raping a child, there has been studied silence from his supporters." This statement seems to imply that now that he has pleaded guilty, you are irritated by the fact that these Rabbonim are silent. Prior to the guilty plea, however, it seems you understand why the Rabbonim kept quiet, presumably because Rabbi Belsky performed his own investigation (regardless of whether you agree with the outcome of his investigation or not).
      If so, why would you be surprised that these Rabbonim are not backing down from their initial stance after the guilty plea? Are you naïve enough to believe that a guilty plea is to be taken THAT literally? Do you know whether or not some of these Rabbonim possibly encouraged Kolko to plead guilty (even while they believe that he is innocent) to lessen his sentence?
      I have no idea what Kolko did or did not do, but I do know that Rabbi Belsky is a tremendous Talmid Chochom, and the fact that he and others are remaining silent now proves absolutely nothing, contrary to what your post claims.

  9. After the various asifot, the issues with abuse and many other things that I have seen the 'gedolim' take a stand on I'm completely at a loss. I was raised with a belief that our gedolim were people of incredible moral fiber besides their outstanding torah knowledge. People who were the ideal to which I should strive. Yet now I am finding that often times what is said in their names (and which I assume, without any knowledge to the contrary, they actually said) is often lacking in basic common sense let alone something worthy of emulating.

    I put my head in my hands and simply ask to anyone who will respond, "What do I do now?"

    As an aside I would like to know the source that a Gadol needs to publically apologize for making a mistake. I realize it is simple basic menchlichkeit but I'm curious if there is a source in halacha.

    1. @Confused: As I said before, there are 2 answers to your question:

      1) You don;t know the entire story and therefore what may seem to be "lacking in basic common sense let alone something worthy of emulating" may in reality just mean you don't know the details and maybe they do.

      2) They may be wrong... so what? They are still more knowledgeable in Torah and Yiras Shomayim and it is a good idea to assume that they are correct... but they are human too, and make mistakes and have ego, and have other calculations... it's called... HUMAN.

      "What do I do now?" Lean today's day, go daven Mincha, and put aside this child fantasy that our Rabbanim are Neviim. If you understand this then you look past the shortcomings that you think they may have. Your father is your father even if he made a mistake... so too for your Rav.

    2. Are you asking why the apology should be made public or why a gadol is bound by the obligation to apologize.

      It needs to be made public because the insult and damage was done publicly. If no one knows about the forgiveness then it is a chilul hashem. Obviously a gadol is more obligated not to cause others anguish then a non-gadol because when he hurts others it is a greater hurt then if a non-gadol tormented him.

      In general the Shulchan Aruch (606:1) says that apologies should be done publicly based on Yoma (87a) R. Hisda said: He should endeavour to pacify him through three groups of three people each, as it is said: He cometh before me and saith: I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not.

      רמב"ם הלכות תלמוד תורה פרק ז הלכה יג

      וכן היה דרך חסידים הראשונים שומעים חרפתם ואינן משיבין ולא עוד אלא שמוחלים למחרף וסולחים לו, וחכמים גדולים היו משתבחים במעשיהם הנאים ואומרים שמעולם לא נידו אדם ולא החרימוהו לכבודן, וזו היא דרכם של תלמידי חכמים שראוי לילך בה, במה דברים אמורים כשבזהו או חרפהו בסתר אבל תלמיד חכם שבזהו או חרפו אדם בפרהסיא אסור לו למחול על כבודו ואם מחל נענש שזה בזיון תורה אלא נוקם ונוטר הדבר כנחש עד שיבקש ממנו מחילה ויסלח לו.
      שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות יום הכפורים סימן תרו סעיף א

      עבירות שבין אדם לחבירו אין יום הכיפורים מכפר עד שיפייסנו; אפילו לא הקניטו אלא בדברים, (א) צריך (ב) לפייסו; ואם אינו מתפייס בראשונה, * (ג) א יחזור וילך פעם שנייה ושלישית, ובכל פעם יקח עמו שלשה אנשים, (ד) ואם אינו מתפייס בשלשה פעמים (ה) ב אינו זקוק לו. (מיהו יאמר אח"כ (ו) לפני י' שבקש ממנו מחילה) (מרדכי דיומא ומהרי"ל); ואם ג הוא (ז) רבו, צריך לילך לו כמה פעמים עד שיתפייס. הגה: והמוחל (ח) לא יהיה אכזרי מלמחול (מהרי"ל), ד אם לא שמכוון (ט) לטובת המבקש (י) מחילה (גמרא דיומא); ואם הוציא עליו שם רע, (יא) ה אינו צריך למחול לו. (מרדכי וסמ"ג והגה"מ פ"ב מהלכות תשובה ומהרי"ו).

      משנה ברורה סימן תרו ס"ק א

      (א) צריך לפייסו - דגם בזה עבר על איסור דאונאת דברים [א] והנה אף על פי שגם בשאר ימות השנה מחוייב לפייס למי שפשע כנגדו מ"מ אם אין לו פנאי הוא ממתין לפייסו על יום אחר אבל בעיוה"כ מחוייב לתקן הכל כדי שיטהר מכל עונותיו כדכתיב כי ביום הזה יכפר עליכם מכל חטאתיכם וגו' וכ"ש אם יש בידו [ב] מן הגזל ואונאה וכל דבר הנוגע בממון יראה לתקן. [דזהו המקטרג הגדול על האדם כמו שאחז"ל סאה מלא עונות מי מקטרג גזל מקטרג בראש] ואם יש לחבירו בידו ממון שיש לו תביעה עליהם יודיענו אף על פי שחבירו לא ידע מזה כלל ועכ"פ יסדר לפני הרב ומ"ץ הענין בשלימות ובאמת בלא שקר ולשאול האיך להתנהג. כללו של דבר כל דבר שבממון לא יסמוך על הוראתו כי היצה"ר יש לו התירים הרבה [ח"א]:

    3. @TT thank you for your response. Is there not a concept, at the very least of maaras ayin? I think that once upon a time it was enough to say, "you don't know the whole story" but for better or worse today we, the hamon am, would like some proof. If Gadol XYZ says he has a good s'varah to shlug up a tosfos we don't simply say, "take him at his word" we demand proof so that we can assay the logic to get to the emes. Do we dare demand less when it comes to hashkafa?

      I understand they are human, but I guess what I'm struggling with is at what point do I stop venerating someone. There are plenty of people greater than me in torah and yirash shomayim, but they are not all considered the gedolei or manhigei hador. That is something that I thought was supposed to be reserved for the elite. But if the elite can make as many mistakes as they want what makes them elite anymore?

      Its actually good that you reminded me to daven mincha, I intentionally skipped my regular minyan because I was distraught over this and I am taking it as a siman min shomayim that you chose those words so I will go daven now.

      I would be curious to hear DT's response as well.

    4. @Confused... I am not suggesting that we take anyone at their word. What I am suggesting is that I would assume that someone who is held in high esteem (or what is called a Gadol)is right. I start from that premise and give them the benefit of the doubt that there is more to the story then what meets the eye. If I still can't reconcile their position with what I know, then I can say that they made a mistake. The fact that "I" think they made a mistake, doesn't mean they actually did, it only means that this is my way to reconcile the contradiction. I by all means believe that Hashkafa of all things need to be questioned, reasoned and understood... but, I would think many times before I would say that they made a mistake... and ALWAYS, be careful with Kavod HaTorah!

      "But if the elite can make as many mistakes as they want what makes them elite anymore? "

      Nobody is assuming that "Gedolim". make as many mistakes as they want". It would be far a few between when we believe they have erred. That's what differentiates us and them and why I would always "assume" they are correct.

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Confused:
      Respect and honor, don't venerate. Deification of human beings is not a Jewish idea. I assume you didn't mean that, but I believe that venerating individuals is part of the problem.

      I strongly recommend reading Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's discussion of Daat Torah, available at this link:

      In this transcript he deals with the specific issues you mention.

    7. Scott,

      That's a great article by Rav Lichtenstein.


      You think you have it bad? How do you think I felt when I found out that the Conservative Judaism that I was raised on is sheker? At least you were raised to be an Orthodox Jew, which is emes, even though not everything is perfect, as you were led to believe.

  10. Concerned wrote that he took an "informal poll" and "EVERYONE IN THE BEIS MEDRASH SAID "IF FACED WITH THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCE [his child was molested] THEY WOULDN'T DISCUSS IT WITH A SOUL"!!!"

    That is appalling, but in that report there may be a ray of hope: before this and other recent scandals, would anyone in "Concerned's" position have thought to "take an informal poll," to ask such a question at all? At least the unthinkable has become thinkable, the unspeakable has been spoken, the first step toward dealing with the problem.

    1. Unfortunately that's not the case.

      Lakewood is a very sincere town, and child safety was and always be the primary focus. Ours was never a town that would discuss this issue.However, after a family gets so defamed the natural reaction is to protect your own family and their neighbors child second.

      The lack of outrage and public repentance is the source of only bad, there is unfortunately no way to sugarcoat this one.

  11. you can do with your site as you wish. just get the guts to call a spade a spade and stop worrying about your book sales.

    1. What does my book sales have to do with Rav Belsky?! There is no correlation between activity on this blog and sales of my books. People buy them because they need them not because they are voicing approval or disapproval of my views.

  12. @DaasTorah -

    Regrettably the comments made by “Facts” alleging R. Belsky’s corruption seem to have been deleted.

    I am NOT a troll, and I am not the person posting with the name "Facts".

    Based on numerous discussions I've had with knowledgeable rabbanim and Jewish men who were involved in divorce processes, I believe that the comments made by Facts earlier (and then apparently deleted) in regard to R. Belsky are correct. These knowledgeable rabbanim believe that R. Belsky and certain other rabbis are providing Jewish women in divorce conflicts full heter archaos sh’lo k’din, so that these women commit vicious mesirah against their husbands. Rabbanim I spoke to also believe that R. Belsky is involved in certain Get Meoso incidents.

    I also believe that Fact's deleted comments in regard to an individual allegedly abducted in a forced Get incident are true. That incident is well known by rabbanim and askanim involved in Gittin matters.

    I would hope the present reasonable comments will be allowed on this blog. If not, then the olam can draw its conclusions as to whether this is in fact a DaasTorah blog.

    1. I agree with you. Fact's comments were deleted because he was making assertions he had no evidence for except for what he read on a blog. He made no attempt to verify them. He was acting like a troll disrupting things and demanding that his agenda be followed

      I am not interested in an idiot - no matter how important his cause just walking in and shooting off his mouth because it makes him feel righteous.

      I am writing about serious issues and I am interested in results not cartharsis.

    2. Against the TrollsJune 12, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      EmesLeYaakov said:
      "I am NOT a troll"

      If you can show how any of the accusations about gittin that you bring are in any serious way related to the stance he has taken in the various molestation cases, I will believe you.

      Otherwise you are exhibiting classic Troll behavior in attempting to derail the discussion from the topic at hand(Belsky and the molestation cases) to another topic that is tangential at best(Belsky and gittin). A topic that has time and again proven to be a point of serious contention on this blog.

      EmesLeYaakov said:
      "I would hope the present reasonable comments will be allowed on this blog. If not, then the olam can draw its conclusions as to whether this is in fact a DaasTorah blog."

      Trolls often seem reasonable at first, that is how they seemlessly enter into the conversation in an attempt to derail it. If you really feel this way about Belsky, given the blog owner's proclivity to grant guest posts, if you were not a troll you would write a detailed summary of the problems surrounding Belsky in regards to gittin and submit them as a guest post. That way you can open up a proper dialogue about Belsky's gittin problems without derailing other discussion.

      However if you are a Troll you will continue to insist on using the comment thread while attempting to bully the blog owner into allowing your comments through with exactly this type of snide remark.

      In other words if you are not a troll then stop acting like one and prove it.

  13. I still have not heard any word of serious evidence that Kolko was a molester. Pleading guilty in an american court is 100% meaningless because of the inherent injustice in american courts. ('Take the plea bargain or we'll destroy you forever.') That is not justice and NOTHING AT ALL therefore has been advanced to say he was a molester. The father is convinced Kolko is a molester? Maybe he is right, maybe not. All this seems like just a bunch of hearsay. All the other points about Lakewood leadership etc are really beside the point. And yes its insane that people would not report a molestor for fear of cherem. But regarding the case of Kolko, where is the beef?

    1. Mike I have a bridge to sell you!

      Aside from the son's testimony, the father's acceptance of son's version, the beis din accepting the son's version and required Kolko to go to treatement, the social worker hired by the beis din thought he was guilty. Rav Sternbuch after hearing the facts including that Kolko stopped going to the required treatment said the police should be called - which means that he viewed Kolko as a danger to the community and that to protect the community he was willing to let the police handle it which includes obviously a possible prison sentence. Kolko not only confessed but apologized for abuse. Finally there were others who came forward and accused Kolko of abuse.

      Now what don't you understand? Why don't you realize that the fact that you and others refuse to accept clear evidence - is the cause of people not going to the police and the children of our community are in danger.

      Halacha l'maaseh you are allowed to kill even a sofek rodef that you feel is a threat to your life. See the discussion by Rav Yehuda Silman in the 15th volume of Yeshurun.

  14. That's all well and good, perhaps, regarding other types of evidence, as long as you are not considering the acceptance of a plea bargain and its attendant "confession" to mean anything at all. And I mean zero. The American justice system is broken. And corrupt. Still, I wonder how you would see things should you be on the other end of a false accusation that could destroy your life with the greatest of ease. It wouldn't take much, you know. It happens every day of the week in this country.

    1. Mike this is not a new issue. The question has been debated for centuries - is it better to have standards that many guilty go free rather than one innocent person suffer

      Even if you have witnesses - there is no guarantee they actual saw what they claim. It happens "every day of the week in this country" that people convcited by witnesses are found to be innocent.

      The Ramban goes so far was to say that even if you know that a person who was convicted of a capital crimes is innocent but you can't prove it - you should still execute him. BM 83 says that Rav Eliezer Bar Rav Shimon had people crucified on circumstantial evidence and that he had doubts about whether those he caused to be executed were guilty.

      It is up to society to determine the balance - and it isn't a simple task - but it is done "every day of the week."

    2. I understand your points. Still, I hope as a psychologist you don't have any female clients or young boys as clients. Just one false accusation and a lifetime of reputation building down the drain. Just one vindictive or attention seeking client...

    3. Mike you raised an important point.Our justice system is not perfect nor has it ever been perfect. Innocent people do in fact sometimes get convicted in any justice system and guilty ones sometimes go free.

      But it is true that as a result of accusations people are behaving differently. One principal I know found a student in his office - before anyone else came to scholl - and he backed out because he didn't want to have yichud with the boy. In fact I was told that Torah u'Mesorah prohibits being alone with a student in a building. Obviously the days of rebbes giving students kissing or touching in an affectionate way are over.

      Perhaps more important a spouse needs to be careful not to ever be in potentially compromising situations with his own kids because it is fairly standard in divorce cases to try and accuse the husband of child abuse.

      Regarding therapists or doctors - why limit it to females or young boys - anyone can make accusations of rape or abuse.

      this is the world we live in and we must learn to live with it. Teachers, parents etc do sexually abuse kids - sometimes. And there are kids who falsely accuse or are coached by adults to falsely accuse adults.

  15. Anonymous - I don't post anonymous comments - in addition I don't publish certain language even if it only hinted at.

    Aside from that I think your comment is important - please clean it up and add a name and I will be glad to publish it.

  16. A public apology to Rabbi "S" is a good start - it at least shows that the same Rabbis who were too quick to demonize and accuse can show by example that they have the humility and character it takes to begin to rectify the wrong they perpetrated. They denounced in public, so the apology must be in public as well. It is that simple!
    But the issue goes well beyond Lakewood. Orthodox Judaism itself is facing a serious crisis. Rabbis (and the yeshivish and and chareidi education system) has made "Daas Torah" a new tenet of Judaism: If "the Rabbis" say so it must be adhered to. No matter what. It's "Daas Torah!!!"
    If I were walking down the street and saw someone attacking a child I would intervene. Do I need to pull out my cell phone and call my Rabbi and ask a shaila about that! No! You see someone being harmed, you protect the victim! Despite all the attempted erudition in the comments above, that is what it boiled down to. But "Daas Torah" failed to protect many children from an evil trauma, because we have turned off our common sense to this heretofore unknown concept of infallibility that is now attributed to "Daas Torah." And yet time and time again it turns out that "Daas Torah" may have torah learning, but seems to lack in the daas part of the equation, primarily because the Rabbis in question have not done sufficient research into the facts before jumping to a conclusion or proclamation. And in so doing they have covered up for abusers and pedophiles, they have banned books and concerts, they have signed on to ridiculous public proclamations of all sorts, and have failed to take a moral and righteous stand when it was clearly called for. Without doing the leg work of finding out the details for themselves how could they possibly make a rational decision?
    Why would I listen to a proclamation made by a Rabbi who does not even take the time to research the details himself, but signs on because someone else signed it? If we saw a sefer with little research, explanation or details we would be appalled! Yet we are supposed accept it when that Rabbi proclaims a political or social stance from a pulpit or billboard sign? That is insane! And that ensures that people with even a modicum of common sense will have no reason to respect what they say.
    To me an apology is a minimal first step! If the future shows that rabbis are willing to take stands or make proclamations without doing their own thorough investigation, then they will have legitimately lost the trust of the flock they claim to be leading. A PHD in Torah (i.e. semicha) does not mean you have daas. If these Rabbis do not value their own integrity why should I?


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