Friday, August 2, 2013

Abuse in Australlia - Program about the shunning of the Waks family

The Waks family with their 17 children lived across from the Yeshiva, or religious school, in Melbourne's tight-knit Hasidic Jewish community.

When the oldest boy, Manny, was sexually molested by two teachers, the impact on his faith, his family and the community was devastating.

While Manny has lost his faith but not his love of Judaism, his father Zephaniah has lost virtually all his friends in the community as a result of going public.

To bring justice for those who have suffered in silence Manny established Tzedek, a non profit advocacy organisation for Jewish victims of child sexual abuse.


  1. Why would any human being, and especially a Torah observant Jew, belong to a community like that? The achdut on the surface is obviously false. It would cause me to question the entire enterprise. I like being "modern" orthodox because we have enough of an outside connection to know that sexual molestation is sick and unacceptable, and we have the kishkas to stand up to it without resorting to "proofs" or other ridiculous exercises. Memo: Adults sexually touching or using or abusing children is demented, illegal, and unacceptable.

    1. You know from news reports, etc., that the problem unfortunately crosses Jewish inter-factional lines. The modern secular world outside, to which some are more connected than others, is rife with all manner of horrendous abuse.

  2. Sof dovor hakol nishmaAugust 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    I wish you all the best, my friend. For all the Perpetrators, Enablers, Intimidators, Yordei lechayehem vesiyatom, you are put on notice,
    KI AL KOL ELE YEVIACHO E-LOKIM BAMISHPOT! Vhoe'lokim yavekesh et hanirdof. Lately, we have seen a drop in the bucket of the maaseh harodfim, in UK, IL, CA, USA, AUS etc.

  3. It is not all what you see. Do not believe all the brouha. I was close to the father, but the minute I disagreed with even a single aspect of his views, he shunned ME in Shule. I made every attempt to continue to say good shabbos to him and treat him normally but he promptly wilfully ignores me. He has issues. I do not want the world to think it's only about victims. His son is a victim, but some of the scorn is their own doing. I would not normally write on such matters but I believe I have to because מדבר שקר תרחק. There is much שקר and Zephania is a complex individual with issues that he needs to deal with. He isn't מרוצה לקהל partly because of his own idiosyncratic method of social policy. Simply on those grounds he cannot push himself to an Amud, להלכה. He showס little ability to ’agree to disagree’ and takes almost everything personally when it is not. On Shabbos, he came up to where I was sitting and promptly introduced himself to my brother-in-law, because he is a prominent barrister. He ignored me as if I don't exist. That is simply plain rude. It works both ways, but he is purposefully blind to this. I understand why, but everyone needs to know that fact. I also have some indication that he was commenting on my blog under a pseudonym. He knows the truth, but I doubt he'll come out and say it.


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