Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Schlesinger twins: Beth discusses the issue of psychological assessments typically required in custody cases

Rabbi Tzadok has raised some important questions regarding this custody case. I asked Beth Alexander to respond to his questions as well as to clarify and explain the facts. Her response should correct a number of misunderstandings that have been expressed by some of her supporters and opponents.

I still stand by my original proposal. If Dr. Schlesinger has a psychiatric evaluation by a neutral expert it would end the dispute. If he gets a clear bill of mental health then I think Beth should stop her campaign and accept the court ruling. On the other hand if the evaluation indicates significant problems then Beth should get full custody including the option of returning to England with her children.

Guest post by Beth Alexander Schlesinger
Any legal battle is difficult. Compounded with custody issues, the battle is all the more trying. Navigating your way through a custody battle in a foreign country, in a foreign language, grappling a legal system and its workings that are totally alien and baffling is like being lost in a maze blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back and your feet bound together. 

Not being a lawyer and without always having legal consultation to explain the nuances of the court decisions to me, I have had to try and make sense of a process that has so far not made any sense to a single lawyer or professional that has been involved in the case. The oft repeated terms, 'Kafkaesque, and 'the Wild West' are perhaps the closest way of describing the bizarre chain of events stretching back to 2010. 

Through my own experiences and conversations with countless other parents going though their own hellish custody battles here in Austria, I have gained a crash course in the standard procedures that judges should follow and know that my case has been highly irregular by any stretch of the imagination. 

Custody decisions are almost always based on a court commissioned psychological assessments on all parties involved: father, mother and child/ children. As was to be expected, the judge commissioned such an assessment back in 2010 after we first separated. 

This was carried out by Dr Ulrike Willinger in 2010, a psychologist I later discovered has a direct connection to Dr Schlesinger. Not only did Dr Schlesinger work in the same hospital as her, but it later emerged that she is a close colleague of Dr Thau, the husband of Konstanze Thau, the High Court judge who intervened in the case on Dr Schlesinger's behalf without having any legal standing on the case.

By the time I found that out, it was too late. Willinger had already fabricated a diagnosis on me, falsely labelled the children as 'retarded' for 'not speaking 200 words when the children when 2 years old' and recommended the father for full custody.  Even though the children were only 14 months and 16 months when she saw them and even though the High Court denied Dr Schlesinger unsupervised access.The judge accepted the highly dubious report in its entirety and awarded the father sole custody in July 2011.  

I appealed. The Appeal Court reduced the father's custody to interim custody and sent the case back to the Lower Court for 'further investigation.' They stated that the father would have to prove:

1) his cooperation over an extended period of time (he promised to allow me generous contact to the children whenever I wanted, including long holidays to England with the children should he be awarded custody)

2) that he really is the better parent to manage the daily needs of the children

The reality is:

1) The very first thing the father did after being awarded custody was to break off all contact between me and the children. It was 8 weeks before I saw them again. Since then he has repeatedly cancelled my visits on short notice and without valid reasons.

2) He immediately hired Filipinos to look after the children almost full time while he works. He still has the Filipinos to this day. 
For the past 2 years I have repeatedly applied to the court for the judge to commission another psychological assessment on both the children and the father. 

I have presented extremely worrying evidence both about the father's violence and erratic/ irregular behaviour that clearly points to some kind of personality disorder. I have also expressed strong concerns about the children's physical and psychological health, including concerns about their missing teeth which the father has, to date, failed to account for. 

However, instead of commissioning a new assessment on all involved parties as is standard legal procedure in a custody trial, the judge relied on the same fabricated and outdated report by Willinger to award the father full and final custody 2 years later, in 2013. She only commissioned an assessment on me which proved I was 100% healthy. 

The Willinger report has now been discredited by 3 experts, making her initial custody recommendation and the decision that was based on it, completely worthless. 

Although strictly speaking a psychiatric assessment on the father was never specifically instructed by the Appeal and Supreme Court, it is incomprehensible why the father has not not been psychologically assessed since the judge commissioned an assessment on me!

It is a basic legal requirement to assess the parent who is to be awarded full custody by an independent expert, especially in light of the evidence we presented about him. 

Yet, the judge claimed she had enough evidence without commissioning a psychiatric assessment on him. 

Not only does this illustrate the clear one-sidedness of the process but also represents gross negligence by the judge to disregard his attempt to commit me to a mental hospital on a fabricated diagnosis and his lies to the police that he was a psychiatrist when he was a trainee doctor with no experience in psychiatry whatsoever.  

None of the testimony of his violence and erratic/ irrational behaviour reported by myself and other witnesses has ever been investigated by the courts. 

Dr Schlesinger has vehemently refused every suggestion of an independent psychological assessment on both the children and himself. I had no problem being investigated since I was confident of the results which proved beyond any doubt that there is no mental illness and neither has there ever been. I have never in my life taken medication other than paracetamol for an occasional headache which my medical records can also prove. 

If Dr Schlesinger genuinely has nothing to hide, why is he so afraid of being assessed or having the children assessed? What does he fear an independent expert may uncover?


  1. Forget the legal nitty-gritties. Forget the old, closed and decided court cases. Forget the allegations from all sides that the other side is crazy, dangerous and an unfirt parent. Those are all history and unfortunately typical in a bitter divorce and custody battle.

    At the end of the day what this dispute is all about is that both parents want custody. Obviously in bitter custody battles with the parties each making dubious or even false claims against each other in order to better their chances in court of being award custody, any claim from either side must be taken with a grain of salt and not accepted at face value.

    But what both parents want is primary custody. From what I understand about Austrian law is that a child is generally placed in primary custody of one parent and visitation is awarded to the other parent. Neither the father nor the mother is given precedence to win custody because of their gender. It starts out with that it could be awarded either way.

    So they both want custody. False allegations are alleged to have been made in court. This is unfortunately typical behavior in custody battles and it is almost assumed that is what's happening.

    So what to do at this point? The father wants custody and the mother wants custody. The father has custody for a few years now as he is been awarded it by several Austrian courts. Apparently the mother's legal option have run its course and been exhausted.

    The only solution is for the father to agree to more visitation time for the mother. Clearly he will not agree to give up custody. And clearly the courts have decided their decision is finalized and have no intentions of changing the ruling or even reopening the case and hearing more evidence or requesting new evaluations. The legal system considers this a closed case after all this time it was in court and went through all the various levels of appeal.

    Perhaps the father will agree to additional visitation time if the mother agrees to accept the fait accompli that he will have custody. This is the only possible solution.

    1. PAT, you are obviously trying to make it look you are neutral here, but its not working, you are supporting the father.

    2. PAT, Let us cover each of your paragraphs:

      You cannot forget the history of this case, children are involved here.

      A court that is not corrupt will prove who are making the false claims.

      Custody should not be awarded to the parent who is going to use Philipino's to look after the children.

      False allegations are alleged to have been made in court, yes the psychological test on Beth!!

      I am afraid Pat according to worldwide views the mother's legal option has not run its course and been exhaused. Sorry!!

      Pat, it is not a closed case. A case with irregularities cannot be a closed case.

      The mother, family, relatives and friends plus all her worldwide supporters are not going to accept the fait accompli that the father has custody.


    3. Pat,

      Thank you for sharing your impartial, fair and neutral outlook on this issue and offering very wise suggestions.

  2. Heads need to role asap, and they will, as far away as possible from Beth and the children!!

  3. The court may have made a decision but on what grounds?

  4. Why is Beth's family allowed sock puppetry to post supporting themselves under many different pseudonyms on this website whenever there is a post about her (which has been averaging about twice a day as of late)?

  5. I have raised a number of questions, and honestly this piece has answered none of them. I have asked how can we know these things. Where is the evidence, where is the proof.

    For instance the blog owner has previously stated on more than one occaision that Dr. Schlessinger was ordered by the court to take a psychiatric assessment, for instance:
    Daas TorahMarch 30, 2014 at 10:16 PM
    @Brav I was the one who suggested a challenge to Dr Schelsinger to motivate him to take the court ordered psychiatric exam which he has in defiance of the court - failed to take.

    However now Beth tells us that there never was a court ordered psychiatric exam:
    Yet, the judge claimed she had enough evidence without commissioning a psychiatric assessment on him.

    I find it hard to believe that Rav Eidensohn made up the idea of a court ordered psychiatric exam. So now I must wonder what else has been... mistaken in its reporting? What else will be treated to a different version of?

    Or simply without court documents how can we know that any of this is true, and not simply propaganda?

    1. Rabbi Tzadok - this issue is a continuation of other honest disagreements we have had in terms of dealing with evidence. You take the position of a tough judge who demands clear unambigious facts before he will acknowledge there is an issue to make any changes. You in essence are saying "where are the two witnesses" and I am saying that it is obvious that something is seriously wrong in this case and therefore it should be investigated and the case reopened.

      I have a different standard for action - i.e., a reasonable basis that something is fishy

      I have seen enough justification from Beth,from court documentations, from Rebbetzen Rosenberg etc - which indicates that the twins and Beth did not get justice. Because we are dealing here with two young lives - as well as that of their mother - I don't things need to be nailed down to the degree you are demanding - in order to voice public concern.

      You are correct that there was a misunderstanding about the existence of a court ordered psychiatric exam. There was a court ordered psychological assessment. The judge in the case felt that she could ignore the question of abuse charges as well as the attempt to commit Beth to a mental hospital by impersonating a psychiatrist. In short all the bells ringing that something was seriously wrong - were ignored - and she settled for a very low level of evidence.

      Given the nature of custody cases - and this one in particular - it is reasonable that the psychological evaluation should include more than whether the parent seems nice. It should at least included a psychiatric examination of Michael such as what was required from Beth. Beth was evaluated because of Michael's claims that she was mentally ill and a bad parent. Beth is similarly making such claims about Michael - so why wasn't he evaluated?

      You are asking where is the court document requiring a psychiatiric examination. I am asking why wasn't the minimum psychological procedures done to ensure that the best possible custody arrangment is provided for the twins. What I am asking for also fits into what the Appeals court and Supreme asked for. The orginal judge decided to use a standard of evidence which totally fails to address the minimal issues involved in this custody battle.

      In sum, instead of asking "where does it say the words psychiatric examination" ask youself what needs to be done to ensure that the welfare of these children is best protected. Do you feel confident that the courts showed proper concern for the welfare of these kids?

      I am simply saying that you are asking the wrong questions and you are not asking the important ones.

      Aside from the above difference in our approach, I think we can both agree with my original statement. If Dr. Schesinger has a psychiatric evaluation by a neutral expert it would end the dispute. If he gets a clear bill of mental health then I think Beth should stop her campaign and accept the court ruling. On the other hand if the evaluation indicates significant problems then Beth should get full custody including the option of returning to England with her children. - Do you disagree?

    2. Do you feel confident that the courts showed proper concern for the welfare of these kids?
      No. I do not feel confident in that. However, without seeing the court documents, neither do I feel confident in being a part of a public relations campaign against the husband.

      I am confused as to why these documents have been withheld from the public, while a PR compaign takes place.

      I am simply saying that you are asking the wrong questions and you are not asking the important ones.
      Really? My question is, before we slander a man all across the internet can we have more than the word of his somewhat(and to a certain extent justifiably) embittered wife? I think it behooves the public to ask for actual evidence to many of these claims. I'm not looking for incontrovertible proof of one side or the other, but I am looking for more than the word of one adversarial side.

      If Dr. Schesinger has a psychiatric evaluation by a neutral expert it would end the dispute. If he gets a clear bill of mental health then I think Beth should stop her campaign and accept the court ruling. On the other hand if the evaluation indicates significant problems then Beth should get full custody including the option of returning to England with her children. - Do you disagree?
      Yes I would absolutely agree to this. Likewise I would say that if Beth would actually provide proof that she has had such an psych eval and has a reasonably clean bill of health, that she should be given more visitation with her children. Children need both a mother and a father.

    3. Returning to England? That seems extremely unreasonable. The couple were living in Austria and the kids were born and spent all their life there so far. I hear the importance of him getting evaluated, and if something comes up seriously wrong, that custody should be reconsidered. But stop with win-lose paradigm! The kids need a stable home, and since Austria has been their foundation, and the father's work would probably make it extremely difficult to visit them often - taking them out of the country should not be an option.

      Besides that, I back R' Tsaddok's "tough" demand for evidence, since the courts have in fact been exhuasted. You can't expect to ignore all the work the courts have done and start from scratch!

      Nevertheless, the mother's story is heartwrenching and I highly support all efforts to get the parents and their friends to figure out ways to keep the mother more in the kids' lives.

    4. Well stated Rabbi Tzadok and YY.

  6. The children are still are unable to speak in complete sentences in any language when they will be five next month. To an outsider it seems and it seems evident that the boys are in complete trauma having
    had teeth ripped put and having been
    denied their mother.

    This sounds like complete torture.

    I think explanations are needed!

    Courts cannot make decisions without
    giving their reasons and showing
    proper professional reports and
    independent assessments of the father and children.

  7. Unfortunately, there are cases around the world where courts have got it wrong - sometimes with disastrous consequences. In some of those cases, devoted and dogged campaigners were able to expose the miscarriage of justice.

    This case is certainly not closed. Whilst there are supporters around the world, including esteemed legal experts, who will continue to attempt to expose this wrongdoing, the case has to remain open.

  8. Very well written! It is very hard to understand how two young children could be taken from their mother's care in such a cruel fashion. And it is possible to say that only peope who have undergone similar nightmarish experiences can truly grasp the pain and anguish of Beth. And there are many such people. However, besides for the trauma caused to Beth and her boys, the most troubling part of the whole saga is the apparent complicity of the Austrian judicial system, as well as the apathy and coldness of the Jewish community there with regards to Beth's plight. It's time for someone to stand at her side - without questions.

  9. If they were diagnosed with delayed speech development back then, wouldn't that indicate that the speech development issues lie within the children and not so much with their education?

    Just trying to gather elements of truth where they can be found...

  10. The way I see it, even if Dr. Shlesinger comes out with a clean bill of mental health, this does not in itself confer any less legitimacy on Beth's campaign to have her children by her side, at least half the time. Why is one being made more important than the other? If they live in the same city, Beth should have the children half the time, at the very least, at this most formative stage in their lives. This would be representative of both common sense and natural justice, and in the best interests of the children. They do not know which of their parents is right or wrong, nor does it make a difference at law.

    1. Rabbi - your reasoning makes sense to me, but you forget that the law of the land trumps. This doesn't mean of course to allow CORRUPT proceedings, and this should indeed be looked into. But if the law says that it's in the best interest of the children to have the large majority of their time in one home - you can't buck that.

  11. "If he gets a clear bill of mental health then I think Beth should stop her campaign and accept the court ruling."

    Let's hear Beth publicly pledge that. RDE saying he thinks she should is meaningless.

    1. @Brav let me state something you seem to be unaware about - if Dr. Schlesinger doesn't agree it is also meaningless. So why didn't you simply say that if both of them don't agree it is meaningless.

      But why even make such a comment - isn't it obvious. Do you think anyone didn't understand this?

      Why don't you simply get Dr. Schlesinger to agree to this.

    2. RDE -

      Dr. Schlessinger won on all levels of the courts right through the Supreme Court of the land. He has no reason or incentive to agree to anything, whether you or anyone else think it is meaningless or not. His position has prevailed through the entire legal appeals process that has been exhausted and finalized. He won. It's really that simple. You and others may feel that is unfair and bad for the kids (he and others disagree obviously) but regardless of feelings the courts have spoken and ruled.

      As it is he would have to be crazy to agree to psychiatric evaluation. He has no reason to. He already was successful in the courts and has no reason from his perspective to agree to anything else. If Beth wants to give him an incentive she is the one -- not you -- that has to pledge to agree to drop her campaign and agree to his custody if an evaluation demonstrates his competency.

    3. @Brav if in fact Dr. Schlesinger is not in anyway bothered by a public campagin that questions his concern for his children as well as his provding proper care - I would agree with you. But I strongly doubt that this is so - otherwise there would be no one wasting their time defending him on this blog - including yourself.

      I am assuming that Beth's campaign is causing him and the Vienna community some discomfort and it is clearly true that the present custody is causing Beth severe discomfort.

      If in fact Dr. Schlesinger has no mental health issues he has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by being evaluated. Even if Beth doesn't agree - I would probably not continue being involved in the issues if he does get a clearn bill of mental health.

      So I am giving him an incentive to be evaluated

    4. RDE -

      I've never been to Europe, never met or spoke to or known in any way either the father or mother, other than what I've read online. I suspect other interested parties, too, formed their opinion from reading only and have no relationship to the parties in the dispute.

      So in all likelihood Beth's public campaign over the last two years mean nothing to him as he has ignored it for over a year already.

      I don't see any reason for him to get an evaluation for the simple reason that some guy in Jerusalem with a blog will stop writing about the case - especially if Beth continues her campaign.

    5. @Brav - this is somethine we can agree on. He should do it simply because it is the right thing to do for his kids

  12. Recipients and PublicityApril 1, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Part 1 of 2:

    They are tricky and sneaky and deadly those Austrians, of that you can be sure.

    Austria, the land that gave the world none other than Adolf Hitler y"sh and then to top that the SS officer Kurt Waldheim who came to head the UN and sponsored the notorious resolution "Zionism is racism" (read: Judaism and Jews = "racism"), the cursed land from which Freud and so many other had to run for their lives with the shirts on their backs, this same Austria is now sitting in "judgement" on Jewish people? Is this the legal system of choice? What a joke, why aren't people pulling out their hair?

    Who cares about what Austrian law says or thinks. They have a history of being monsters to Jews. What we want to know is what does JEWISH Halacha say? Not just what some shnooky Chabad rabbis has to say. They all say what their rich clients want to hear so they get big donations, as everyone know (besides "dina demalchusa dina" which surely does not apply to countries that gave birth to Hitler and Waldheim). Torah Jews must work within the parameters of the Shulchan Aruch.

    What would a majority of current poskim say in such a situation? Not just what bloggers think.

    Rabbi Eidensohn, you always ask where are the sources, where are the teshuvos? and you are always able to find good ones or at least related ones that shed light on such a situation. It is needed here as well urgently. It is time to define:

    Why pursue this matter at all on your blog according to Jewish law?

    What is the Halachic status of the mother and do her claims have validity in terms of Halacha, Yiddishkeit and Menshlichkeit?

    What is the Halachic status of the father? Does he have the rights he claims he has based on what the Austrian courts have given him thus far? What does his reported behavior imply Halachically? Would objective Halacha support what the Austrian courts have ruled so far in this case? and the way that they have ruled? Yes or No?

    1. A Beis Din should decide all issues of divorce, custody and separation of assets.

    2. Here is what this Beis Din thinks:


    3. That beis din didn't hear the case. They didn't have the parties before them and rule. They don't even have jurisdiction and are a foreign beis din.

    4. There is no beis din in Vienna so it is natural to suggest the beis din in the mothers home town is appropriate. This beis din has been in contact with the rabbis in Vienna and also both parents. They issued a statement after taking into account their discussions with all the parties. This is good enough for me to know who is right and who is so clearly wrong in this case.

  13. Recipients and PublicityApril 1, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Part 2 of 2:

    And finally what is the Halachic status of the children?

    Are they tinokos shenishbu or not?

    Are they in a matzav of sakanos nefashos that requires pikuach nefesh where if need be they could be taken away to safety from their place of confinement even on Shabbos by a caring Jew against the wishes of the father with or without him going to a shrink?

    Are the children like concentration camp victims that could and should be rescued?

    As we know people take on the characteristics of their "host nations" and the legacy of the Austrian host nation/people is many hidden Nazis and their disciples still around who have left their mark, rabid Anti-Semitism, genocide against Jews, the Holocaust, hatred of Jews that has perhaps somehow become psychologically inverted in the minds of "team father" as unconscious expression of Jewish self-hate, a kind of cruel "Stockholm Syndrome" the way the kids and the ex wife are being treated it sure looks like it, or is the wife not telling the full truth?

    Anyhow, it seems when these kind of marriages between Europeans and outsiders take place there is a lot of sick psychopathology that lurks beneath the surface and is overlooked.

    That in fact the real "captives" in this case are not the innocent children who have no free will and are in the category of "oneis rachmana patrei" -- but it is the father, in Austria who has been "captured" by the glitter of all that is Austrian and thereby losing touch with the true Jewish Torah identity by taking on the persona, attitude and friendships of Austrians who are nothing but German Jew-haters at heart and they have proven that historically.

    Yes, a type of "galut mentality" directed at self-destruction of fellow Jews (the former wife and own kids) regardless of what anyone else thinks. It is surely a very bizarre situation indeed.

    There have been and are too many "cross border" divorce cases that brings cross cultural differences and psychic barriers to fore that are then played out over the lives of innocent victims, in this case two small children who have no clue about all the craziness that is being said and done for and about them and in their name.

    Yelamdeinu Rabbeinu!

  14. As an outsider following this case I see the mother would like more visitation time with her children. One of the previous posts says she gets one weekday (but not night) plus one weekend day every other week.

    What would satisfy her? One day plus night every week?

    1. Fair would be 50% of the time, Mike.

    2. 50% is unrealistic. Generally legislatures and courts find children grow better if they are not shuffled around between parents like a deck of cards - 50/50. Society finds a child is better primarily remaining with one parent and having visitation with the other. And this is how society and the courts treat custody arrangements.

    3. We cannot discuss arrangements here. It is sufficient to say that the current status-quo is grossly unfair on the children and the mother.

      If you want a fair solution, I think this is the most appropriate: http://daattorah.blogspot.co.at/2014/03/a-psychiatric-examination-of-dr.html

      RY, you agree?

    4. RY, in Vienna this is not always true. It's possible here for kids to spend half a month with one parent and the other half with the other. This way, there is far less "shuffling around".

  15. For this blog to solve this heartbreaking situation, it will take a lot more than pilpul and analysis back and forth. Something constructive needs to be undertaken by people with influence. For example by challenging the religious Jewish community in Vienna for their very parev (at best) stance to a major problem in their midst. This situation is unjust, unfair and unkind to the mother for sure and to the children too. Derech Eretz Kadma LaTorah!.

  16. There have been commentators on this blog claiming being from Vienna and having seen the kids, while they were under her custody. They say that the twins were suffering from complete physical neglect and she wasn't' able to care for them. As most of us are not in Austria and can only speculate as to the courts' decision, this seems to be an explanation, indeed. Otherwise, Beth would be more forthcoming in publishing the courts' reasoning.She has no choice but to publish it, if she wants continued support. I definitely start having my doubts about this entire story.

  17. Beth does not have to publish any further documents for us, her supporters, to continue to believe her. Who on earth are you, Sarah (the same uncooperative one as before?), to be telling her how to behave? We believe her account of what she has gone through as there is no reason to doubt it. The father's behavior, and also that of some of his supporters on this blog, has been puerile from the start to this moment, and he has made no effort to improve anyone's impression of him. We have also seen evidence of his lies and of his failure to have his children examined and treated by Vienna's best child psychiatrists. Which "commentators on this blog" have said that the twins were "suffering from complete physical neglect" while Beth had custody? You know, Sarah, that this is nonsense. The court was informed by several people that she was a very good mother. Bruno Bettelheim actually said a person only needs to be "a good enough parent" - have you read any of his work? You also know only too well that the boys looked perfectly awful when they were first being taken care of by their father - hair not neat, blank looks on their faces, dirty marks on their clothes. Which commentators on this blog said Beth "wasn't able to care for them"? As I'm sure you're also in Austria and probably very close to the Schlesinger family, you'd know that that's absolute rot. Have you ever tried to take care of twins? One child is demanding enough but two of the same age much more so. Thus there may be biased individuals who only want to find fault with the mother of twins or triplets and I think you must be one of them.

    1. So why is Beth petrified of publishing her copy of the court decisions? Could it have to do with the fact it will put lie to her case and clearly and unambiguously demonstrate her scrupulousness and her fitness or lack thereof?

    2. One can similarly ask why is Dr. Schlesinger avoiding a psychiatric examination? Could it have to do with the fact it would put lie to his case and clearly and unambigiously demonstrate his unscrupulousness and his fitness or lack thereof?

    3. The difference is Beth is waging a P.R. campaign and publishing selected documents while refusing to publish the entire court decisions.

      OTOH, Dr. Schlesinger is not only not waging a P.R. campaign but he is not even responding or otherwise acknowledging her campaign. He is keeping out of it and trying to keep his kids out of it. So he has no interest in playing this game or taking exams or doing anything else for that matter.

      To Dr. Schlesinger this is a closed case and there is nothing for him more to do. He is quite happy with the current situation.

    4. Why is everyone from Vienna so petrified to speak under their own name (regardless of whether it is for or against the father)!


      Could it be that the Jewish people in Vienna are in fear of the very corruption they have all benefited from for so long? If anyone dare speak out, will they be the next victims? What a pathetic group of people they are. I suggest you read this:


      Quite frankly, Beth has more backbone than the whole lot of them.

    5. One can similarly ask why is Dr. Schlesinger avoiding a psychiatric examination?

      Apples to oranges. Dr. Schlesinger is not embarking on an international PR(and possibly smear/slander) campaign. He is not making accusations against Beth in the media and on blogs.

    6. Rabbi Michael Tzadok, your statement is unlikely to be true. It is quite apparent that Mr Schlesinger and/or those close to him have been writing comments on this blog for a number of weeks. Some of those comments have contained wild accusations that have not been substantiated. Other comments, like those from "Sarah", make promises that have yet to be fulfilled.

      I'm afraid he is very much taking part in this PR campaign. Only a fool would think otherwise.

    7. Anonymous comments on blogs, that could just as easily, and much more probably be put there by trolls, is hardly indicative of Dr. Schlesinger undertaking a media/PR campaign.

      He is not giving interviews. He is not writing his own blog. He has no official spokesman making statements on his behalf. Thus he is not taking part in a PR campaign. Only a conspiracy theorist would think otherwise.

  18. It's time for Beth to get remarried, lead a happy life and have more children that she could mother.

    1. which of your children are you willing to give up?

    2. It isn't a matte of her giving up. She lost them. Against her will but nevertheless. Unfortunately her game is over.

    3. So, effectively you are saying "It's time for Beth to leave those children with a violent parent who will neglect them for the rest of their childhood. Their neglect will be interrupted with more teeth being removed and other spouts of violence."

      Rivka, we in the human race think differently to you!

    4. What is likely to happen to these long-suffering little children, Rivka? They are years behind their peers in speech, something that is very hard to catch up on, if not impossible. The game is far from over for Benji and Sammy. They won't be ready to start school like other 6-year-olds in September 2015, you can bet. So "No child left behind" won't apply to them. They may be bullied for being different. Someone will have to make sure they're able to spend a lot of time each week in a special needs class. But what happens to children who have no mother to put them to bed each night, a nutty bunch of relatives (as we've seen on this blog), who are behind in games, songs and talking and more than likely brought up to believe that their mother is evil? The prognosis will not be good and Dr Schlesinger is going to have a tough time as a parent. He's not yet aware of all this because he obviously doesn't read books on child-rearing and has given no thought to the future. Kids like this, without a mother's love each day and night, and so behind developmentally, can turn to drugs, alcohol and crime as they grow older. Your sadistic thoughts will not help the boys, Rivka. Beth's game is not over. She will never abandon the children she gave birth to, even if she returns to England one day and starts a new life. But the boys will suffer more and more each day that she is not with them, and so will.....their father.

    5. Unfortunately her game is over.
      No it is not. She has one avenue of appeal left, the world court. It's laws supersede those of any signatory nation, which all of the EU is at this point. She has that one avenue left.

    6. RMT: Which "World Court" do you speak of? There is no such court by that name.

    7. Actually Nat there is, it is the common name for the International Court of Justice. However I was mistaken, her next appeal, unless she wants to start her custody fight over again in the Austrian lower courts, would be the European Court of Human Rights.

      Those are the two paths open to her. She can either give the Austrian courts another swing at the matter, or go to a Court that supersedes them, and which may give her a more fair trial.

    8. Then why have you been so adamant that there is "only one avenue of appeal left", ie the ECHR, Rabbi Tzadok? You have just stated that this is not true but without admitting that you have been posting nonsense!

    9. Trying this one again hoping it will go through.

      In legal language an appeal means to apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court..

      There is only one higher court then the Austrian Supreme court, and that is the ECHR. Thus she only has one avenue of appeal left.

      That the Austrian court system works in such a way that a person can file a new case if they don't get the decision they like with the Supreme Court... well if it works for the Austrians, who am I to say.

      I would say though, if you are going to publicly call yourself a Beth supporter, you may want to try to be a bit politer to those who are neutral. Otherwise you may alienate them.

    10. Sorry, Rabbi Tzadok. You appear to be right re the "avenue of appeal". However, I believe it is not impossible in Austria to re-run a case that has already gone to the Supreme Court if flaws in the process can be established. There was a case like this in the media recently.

  19. Beth should quietly go to her ex-husband get on her knees crying and beg him to help her and the children connect and have more time. She should profusely apologize to him for anything and everything she's ever done that he felt hurt by. She should swear to him she'll never again publicly disparage him, will remove all her websites and public postings and issue a public apology for wronging him.

    Even if Beth feels this goes too far she should do it for her own sake and for their children's sake. Even if this bruises her ego. and she feels she didn't wrong him and even if she believes the fault is all his. Put this dispute to final rest. Make amends. Move on.

    Hopefully with such an approach Dr. Schlesinger will be amenable to granting Beth this request even though he is under no legal obligation to do so. With such a humble approach of hers she may soften his resolve and bring about a peaceful loving solution to this situation.

    1. Rosh Yeshiva are you having a laugh? why should beth kiss michaels feet and beg him.. are you crazy?
      I think mediation should take place. I think a condition would be to stop the publicity but mediating has to be done to make it happier for the boys.

      I dont think she should beg the father. that's crazy.
      I think mediation is the best answer

    2. Rosh Yeshiva I think you are very accurately expressing Dr. Schlesinger's fantasy. I think that whatever he has done it is out of genuine belief that what he is doing is for the best of all concerned. I think he is also bewildered as Beth is that his sincerity is being understood as devious manipulation.

      However both Michael and Beth can not both be right. One of them is severely out of touch with reality as the rest of us understand it. That is why I have strongly suggested that he be evaluated by a neutral psychiatrist. I obviously view Beth as the one with her feet on the ground - but I am willing to be wrong and accept that I am wrong - if a competent neutral psychiatrist says that Michael is normal and that the hurt male fantasy that you just wrote is appropriate for what he has gone through.

      Why keep wasting time by repeating the same thing if there is an objective way to resolve this dispute?

    3. Who friggin cares who is "right"? Who cares!! You want to fight it out 'till death or you wanna get over the fight?? If you want to resolve this put aside ego, put aside who is right. Even if she is 100% right and he is 100% wrong, if she goes to him humbly, begs his forgiveness (even though she doesn't really need it) and pleads with him... if that will do it, if that will get him to give her what she needs with her children, the she should DO IT!

    4. Who friggin cares who is "right"? Who cares!! Do you want to "stand on principle" and fight it out 'till death or you wanna get over the fight and have a working loving relationship with the kids?? If you want to resolve this put aside ego, put aside who is right. Even if she is 100% right and he is 100% wrong, if she goes to him humbly, begs his forgiveness (even though she doesn't really need it) and pleads with him... if that will do it, if that will get him to give her what she needs with her children, the she should DO IT!

  20. One can read from her post, that Beth is a very articulate, intelligent, brave and compassionate person.

    As a foreigner in Austria, she has cruelly been taken advantage of.

    What Austria and the jewish community of Vienna have done to Beth is a crime against her human rights, and the rights of her children.

    Michael Schlesinger is cruel and calculating - the man is not fit to be a father.

    The chabad rabbi Biderman who honours such a man in shul, one has to gravely wonder if he is fit for the job as rabbi.

    Beth you carry on fighting the one-sided process, carry on with your blogs and your media campaign, do not stop, do not give up, there are thousands of people behind you. Daas Torah has done a good job proving that the people commenting against you seem like a bunch of evil nutcases. They are showing us just what you are up against, but not for long Beth as good always wins in the end. xx

    1. 100% behind you, Helena!

  21. Helena we here in England agree with you
    Whoever Rosh Yeshiva is he is repeating the same story that the

    father has won his children as a victory against the mother
    Not once has the welfare and happiness of the children been
    mentioned. They are just being used
    as weapons against their mother.

    A new case with a new court and a new judge under a spotlight.
    We will see what happens then!
    They have

  22. @ Rivka, this is not a game. This is the story of a desperate and dedicated mother reaching out for her children in any way possible, including this blog. One day those children will read this blog and all the other writings of Beth and her supporters and opponents. My bet is that they will be totally overwhelmed by their mother's unequivocal and resilient love for them. How will they feel about you when they read your (with respect, insensitive) suggestion that she just get remarried and get on with her life? No, this is not a game.....

    1. One day those children will read this blog and all the other writings of Beth and her supporters and opponents. My bet is that they will be totally overwhelmed by their mother's unequivocal and resilient love for them.

      They will probably also be overwhelmed by the many vile things people have said about their father without any evidence to back up the many assertions.

      She is also quite possibly damaging her case. I remember 15yrs ago when Rebbitzen Rosenberg's story was making the rounds all the Jewish websites. it did not aid her, in fact according to the webmasters at the OU.org website at the time it in fact wound up hurting her case which is why they(and several other sites) scrubbed it from their servers.

      That case, for which the court documents were actually published online, was far more outrageous with the court ruling that Judaism was an anorexic religion.

      As to your original assertion, that the children will see all of this as love... Not necessarily. Rebbitzen Rosenberg's attempts have brought her no reconciliation with her children even 15yrs on. These sorts of PR campaigns are a dangerous double edged sword that can just as well harm as help.

    2. Once again, I think R' Tsadok is spot on.

      Ppl are lining up here based on visceral sympathy. But they forget that no matter how "articulate" Beth may come across, she is likely being coached, edited... and misinforming. I am NOT against her, as I've stated many times. I certainly am concerned abt the children getting more time with their mother. But she and her supporters are clearly into smearing the kids' father - and that is bound to boomerang.

    3. Rabbi Tzadok, I appreciate you providing a different perspective on issues. You have a much more conservative approach than I but I sense that you are torn on this issue. I am curious - if you were in Beth's situation what would you do?

      Would you simple give up as Dr. Schlesinger's supporters repeated suggest and move back to England and start a new life - without the twins?

    4. I don't think she should move back to England. I think the mother should definitely be a part of these boys' lives. Even if her final appeal is successful, from what I know of international law, she will not be able to move back to England with the children. In essence whatever new life she will have, either with custody or with visitation rights, it will be in Vienna.

      You stated before that you do not need to see all of the facts to know that something fishy is going on. Likewise I can say the same thing. Following this case, both on your blog and through the media, it has become glaringly apparent that no one in power or authority has supported Beth in anything but a conditional and equivocal way.

      Whether press articles, or the British MPs, they all have stated that they are relying upon Beth and her honesty, using statments like, "according to the mother", "according to Beth", "Beth alledges" ect. Even the MPs say that this requires further investigation.

      To me this indicates that no one has seen the court documents or any sort of solid evidence to back up any of her statements. We have character assassination against the father, and the Vienna community occuring on nothing more than the word of a mother in the midst of an obviously bitter custody battle.

      Forgive me, but my primary concern is for the children. Having their father, and the community in which they are most likely going to need to live, smeared in the media and on blogs, is really not in their best interest. That it is being done without any substantive evidence to back up any of these statements... That is absolutely horrifying.

      Personally I think the mass PR campaign in which everyone who doesn't support her is painted as being evil and corrupt needs to end. It is not helpful, and is ultimately destructive to the children. Yes she should work, and fight if necessary, to be a part of the children's lives, but not in a way that is destructive, at least not without posting evidence for the things said.

    5. For instance you ask for Dr. Schlesinger to be evaluated by a neutral psychiatrist/psychologist. If the psychiatrist/psychologist finds that Dr. Schlessinger is mentally healthy, would Beth consider that neutral? I think not. We see that Dr Ulrike Willinger, despite being appointed by the court is not considered neutral because he is a colleague of the spouse of someone who alledgedly(without any evidence being offered) got inappropriately involved. Why can we not see the original court commissioned psych evals or the two others Beth claims to have commissioned since?

      Where we find ourselves is that Beth has one court case(assuming they agree to hear her appeal) left to try to change custodial control over the children. Between now and then there is a mother who wants to see her children and must rely, to a certain extent, upon the father's good will for that to happen. The PR campaign operates at cross purposes to that. Going forward, even if she does get custody, she is most likely going to need to remain in Vienna, and the children will grow up there, the PR campaign is thus ultimately at cross purposes with the future welfare of the children of the children. Making unsubstantiated claims across the internet is not a great way to demonstrate stability, or the ability to look after the ultimate welfare of the children, so it also is at cross-purposes with her attempts to gain custody. If then this final attempt fails, she is going to need the good will of both the husband and the Vienna community to move forward meaningfully with her life, and in the lives of her children... Again the PR campaign is ultimately not in the best interests of Beth or the children.

      So you asked if I were in Beth's shoes what would I do. I would make every effort to be a part of my children's life, and fight the court battles with all of my might. However, I would not wage a public PR campaign against the husband and the Vienna community. If I truly felt that they should and could be influenced, I would back channel it as much as possible attempting to keep any negativity from the public eye. If I were to take leave of my senses and start any sort of public campaign it would focus on my own hurt, pain and loss, without casting aspersions on others.

    6. . We see that Dr Ulrike Willinger, despite being appointed by the court is not considered neutral because he is a colleague of the spouse of someone who alledgedly(without any evidence being offered) got inappropriately involved. Why can we not see the original court commissioned psych evals or the two others Beth claims to have commissioned since?

      It is a she. It was not just that her husband is connected to the outside judge but that she conducted the evaluation in German and used Beth's response time in a non-native language as indication she had problems. Furthermore her findings were refuted by the other evaluations. I have all the evaluations - would you like to come over and I'll show them to you? I am not putting them on the internet any more than I would put Dr. Schlesinger's evaluation when he has one.

      Regarding the question of whether Beth would view this evaluation as a way of resolving the conflict - her response to me was positive - depending on whether the therapist is truly neutral. It is up to her to actually say yes or no. However regarding my involvement - I would take the results seriously and if Dr. Schlesinger got as clear a bill of mental health as Beth then I would withdraw from this issue.

    7. "Where we find ourselves is that Beth has one court case(assuming they agree to hear her appeal) left to try to change custodial control over the children. Between now and then there is a mother who wants to see her children and must rely, to a certain extent, upon the father's good will for that to happen. The PR campaign operates at cross purposes to that. Going forward, even if she does get custody, she is most likely going to need to remain in Vienna, and the children will grow up there, the PR campaign is thus ultimately at cross purposes with the future welfare of the children of the children."

      Beth was given rights by the court after Michael gave a commitment to provide a liberal approach to visitation. Not only has he not fulfilled what he voluntarily said but he has "punished" Beth by taking away visits that he had not right to cancel. She doesn't haven't to fulfil the comment of begging on before the lord and master to see her kids.

      Regarding your claim that I am presenting unsubstantiated claims. That is not correct. While I haven't put the full documentation on the internet but they are not stories that Beth cooks up at night to get back at Michael.

    8. "So you asked if I were in Beth's shoes what would I do. I would make every effort to be a part of my children's life, and fight the court battles with all of my might. However, I would not wage a public PR campaign against the husband and the Vienna community. If I truly felt that they should and could be influenced, I would back channel it as much as possible attempting to keep any negativity from the public eye. If I were to take leave of my senses and start any sort of public campaign it would focus on my own hurt, pain and loss, without casting aspersions on others."

      Yes I would agree with you - and actually that is what Beth did initially. However as Rebbitzen Rosenberg found out - Beth's circumstances are not simply the result of a misunderstanding or not speaking German as a native - but the result of an active campaign of slandering Beth with the community [I have seen and heard evidence which supports her claims] as well as an atmosphere of fear to get involved on her behalf..

      The strange reality that Beth did in fact have custody, that her husband falsely tried getting her committed to a mental hospital, that the custody trial ignored this and did not order a psychiatric evaluation, that an outside judge interfered in the case on Michael's behalf, that the psychiatric report should be done by someone with connections to the opposing side, that an expert witness falsely claimed that the twins speak 3 languages etc etc - the sheer amount of irregularity precludes actions in accord with what you said.

    9. I have all the evaluations - would you like to come over and I'll show them to you? I am not putting them on the internet any more than I would put Dr. Schlesinger's evaluation when he has one.
      Ok... This is the first we are hearing of this, or at least the first I am hearing of this. If you say you have them or have seen them, and will attest to their validity that is good enough for me.

      Regarding your claim that I am presenting unsubstantiated claims. That is not correct. While I haven't put the full documentation on the internet but they are not stories that Beth cooks up at night to get back at Michael.
      Are you saying that you have actually seen the court documentation that backs up her claims? If so then again that is good enough for me. Again this is the first I am hearing about such a reality. If so, please say so. Otherwise I find the equivocal nature of the statements made the press and the MPs quite disturbing. So please inform us, have you seen the documentation and thus on that basis willing to back Beth's story. If so... then I will withdraw many of my objections.

      I still find aspects of this PR campaign disturbing and at cross purposes with a healthy and conductive relationship with her children, and the Vienna community.

      I do want to state, lest I be taken horrifically the wrong way, that I find the comments that Beth should move on with her life and abandon her children, or beg her ex-husband on bended knee to see them as obscene in the extreme. Even if she was severly mentally disturbed, unless her presence was a real and present danger to the children, every effort should be made for the mother to be able to have as meaningful as possible a relationship with the children. Likewise, with the father, should she receive custody, and should the psych eval show that he is mentally disturbed, every effort should be made for him to have as meaningful a relationship as possible with his children.

    10. Rabbi Tzadok - none of Beth's supporters make any claims that are not backed up by evidence. We are very different kinds of people than some of the father's supporters, who have no scruples in telling deliberate lies. You're clearly undestimating us, some of whom have read the court documents and others have been informed about their content.

    11. Esther,

      I'm sorry but I really don't trust anonymous commentors when they say they have seen the evidence. If you would like to open your own blog and demonstrate that you have, by publishing some of the court documents, I will gladly believe you.
      The reason, and the only reason, that I believe Rav Eidensohn when says he has seen them is that I know him. When he says I can come to his house to see them, I know he is not bluffing, because a 15min busride will deliver me to his door.
      I still believe that much of the invictive being spewed around by supposed Beth supporters is just people's own fairy tales, especially when it is not found in Beth's own words. People get emotional on these issues, and often that is a detriment.

    12. Rabbi Tzadok, I think you'll understand that I cannot publish other people's court documents without their permission and have no wish to do so in any case, as Rabbi Eidensohn is presenting Beth's case here more than adequately. I wonder why you have so little faith in other human beings...Beth's supporters are not telling fairy tales. We all know the meaning of domestic violence - there are thousands and thousands of women (and occasionally men) who are victims of it and it is possible to inform oneself very easily about it on the internet. Barry Goldstein in USA is one of the experts on this topic. Your language is extremely unfriendly ("invective being spewed around") and those of us who know that Beth is telling the truth feel insulted by it. We are not the kind of people who do that. Please read Beth's account of the events of the day her husband tried to have her sectioned: do you really believe she is making all this up?

    13. Esther if you would simply read through the comments on this blog by people who are supposedly Beth's supporters you will find several tales about the evils of the Austrian community, Rabbi Biederman or Dr. Schlessinger himself that were never reported by Beth or any other credible source. These are simply fairy tales.
      Likewise there is a lot of unhelpful invective aimed at the three entities that I have named. I am not, if you would read my words carefully talking so much about what Beth has said, but rather what her self appointed supporters are saying.
      You accuse me of having little faith in human beings, but the same can be said in reverse. Until Rav Eidensohn began presenting the actual evidence, we were asked to believe that not only was there a malicious husband, but an entire Jewish community and court system.
      I find it really disturbing that people were willing to believe the worst of them without seeing solid evidence.
      I don't trust anonymous internet commentors because there is ample good reason not to. The internet Troll phenomenon is amazing, and the lies that people will tell behind the shroud of anonymity know no bounds.

  23. Rosh Yeshiva
    You need to be clinically examined and never give anyone advise. You are dangerous What a ridiculous comment to post...how embaressing, patriarchal and archaic. Maybe while she is on her knees (and he is physically abusing her) she should polish his shoes as well and then clip his nostril hairs
    Michael should be the one putting his ego away and apologising to his children (if not to Beth) . If he is Jewish he should be respecting the mother that gave birth to his children if only for that. If he loves them so much as he claims he should be thanking Beth for bringing them into this world...After birthing 1 baby at a time, 2 is definately no small feat and Beth deserves respect for this
    Please rewrite your letter and rethink your ways....

    1. Right right right. Stand on principle and fight this out for the next 15 years. When the kids are 18 you'll hopefully have some resolution.

      Alternatively go along with the archaism and patriarchy and do something embarassing even though you are right and he is wrong. If that's what it takes to get what you need with the kids and get over fighting and start loving and have a meaningful relationship with your kids, then DO IT even if you have to bow before your ex husband.

    2. Rosh Yeshiva your knowledge of psychology - especially dealing with an alleged bully - is seriously mistaken. You remind me of the rosh yeshivos and rabbis who were asked for help by women who were beaten by their husbands and the fairly standard adivse was, "Try harder being nice to him. You must have done something to really upset him and that is why he beat you. You just have to learn to please your husband no matter what the cost."

  24. How can other children replace Sammy and Benji? One child cannot replace another. Tell that to anyone who has lost a loved one. Is Beth being
    asked to give up her children as if they
    are dead? . Are the children being
    expected to give up thinking and then
    feeling for their mother as she is dead?

    What evil reason is the father, Rabbi
    Biderman, the Jewish Community
    going to give the children as to why
    their perfectly physically and mentally
    able, capable loving mother has been
    banished from their lives, against her

    Are you Michael Schlesinger, Rabbi Biderman, Oscar Deusch,
    Ariel Muzikant. Towa Hollander and
    the whole Jewish Community in Vienna going to behave just like the Nazis who semt innocent people
    including, homosexuals to the
    concemtration camps.

    In the words of one of our eminent to
    Jewish Leaders in the UK Jonathan
    Arkush, who has been fighting to find
    a solution to this problem and has
    been denied respect from any of the
    leaders in Austria.

    This is a miscarriage of justice, a stain the on Austria.

    What will become of little Sammy and
    Benji in the long run, as previous
    commentators have asked?

    What will become of the Austrian Jewish Community? They will lose the

    World's respect and stand alone in this
    Chillel Hashem

    No one can turn their backs on a
    young Jewish woman whose sole aim
    is to be a mother her children who are not doing very well and desperately
    need her.

    We will always support Beth and use
    everything possible to bring justice for
    the sake of her and the children

    It is still not too late for the Jewish Community to convince the father to mediate a sensible solution for the sake of the children. The question is why aren't they?

    Why would the Jewish Community want to defend this father to the detriment of their reputation?

    It is not too late for Austria to convince
    the father to discuss and mediate a
    sensible way forward for the sake of
    the children. The question is why
    don't they?

  25. I think it's a bit trite to call Beth's efforts a PR campaign unless it stands for a Poor Relations' campaigm - she and her children being deprived of each other. It's time to wake up! How can we allow this to happen??? Where's the chessed? I support Beth and am horrified at her situation with each passing day. Since this is a Torah based blog, might I add that the mitzva of shiluach hakan does not apply to humans.

  26. What has happened to Beth has happened and is happening to others - in greater or lesser degrees. Most are afraid or even embarrassed to talk about it, let alone a PR campaign. Kol Hakavod to this brave young mother! She has brought the world's attention to a very distasteful issue. And through reading about her dreadful experience, perhaps another young, naive Jewish girl won't make the same mistake.

    1. 95% of the time it happens to the father rather than the mother.

    2. Chezkas, your comment is totally irrelevant here. We are discussing the Schlesinger twins not general policy. These children need to be returned to their mother ASAP.

  27. Begging is not the answer. She has virtually lost her children and now she must lose her dignity? For people, especially those with influence, to recognise the injustice and to mamish stand with Beth in whatever way possible would achieve much, much more....

    1. If losing her dignity possibly restores her access to her children for longer periods, it is well worth losing ones dignity for the possibility of accessing ones children.

    2. RY since when does begging from a husband that Beth has claimed is abusive - produce kindness. if you know anything about bullies -- showing weakness only encourages them and gives them a greater sense of power.

  28. We are only concerned about Beth's case here and how she has been mistreated. Rabbi Biderman needs to answer why he has sided with the father and issued statements to the court saying the boys are doing well psychologically when he is not qualified and why he had a private conversion with the judge.

    There are still many unanswered questions the conduct of the court also needs investigating.

  29. Thank goodness for religious males like the author of this blog...restores some hope
    Willing to stand up for the truth and fight generations of systemic injustice...you are one brave man
    Hopefully there is an afterlife and you will be truly rewarded as Im sure you are receiving lots of criticism from within about your strong opinions and actions
    From the other side of this planet from where you sit we stand behind you and your true altruistic work
    You are an angel

    1. Ev, I agree with your comment 100%.

  30. People like Rabbi Biderman make me ashamed of being a Jew. Thank God for people like Rabbi Eidensohn who has restored my faith

    Rabbi Eidensohn is doing whatever he can to try and resolve a situation whereas Rabbi Biderman is doing the opposite. I ask Rabbi Biderman to stand up like Rabbor Eidensohn is doing and tell us why?

  31. People who have suffered similarly to Beth do not 'spew' 'fairytales.' There is so much abuse around. Unfortunately it is just swept under the carpet by some religious authorities and no-one is ever held acountable. And there is nothing wrong with the emotion of indignation when there is an injustice. In fact, I would say that it is a totally expected and normal response from people of conscience,

  32. Rabbi Tzadok, with respect, neutrality can be dangerous. Objectivity is another thing altogether. In my experience people who stand in the middle of the road are likely to get run over from both sides...

    1. RR, I have been trained as a dayyan, and thus have a nature to initially adopt a position of neutral objectivity, and to ask for evidence to support claims. Which is precisely what I have done here.

      Now there are many who react to that with strong emotion and accusation. When someone approaches with neutral objectivity, asks for supporting evidence, and is met with verbal attack, to be honest the result is often that they become convinced that there is no substance to the accusations.

      No there is nothing wrong with the emotion of indignation so long as said emotion does not override good sense. Unfortuantely, it does often override good sense amongst anonymous internet commentors. Looking through the comments on this blog, it is easy to see that fairy tales have indeed been invented.

    2. Rabbi Michael Tzadok, as you are trained as a dayan, perhaps it would be fitting for you to seek out some opinions coming from Austria, then you would be able to make a fair judgement for yourself after hearing both sides. You must have some International Rabbinic Colleagues that would help you. If you genuinely were interested in getting to the Emes, this would be an obvious route.

      However, if you are looking to find fault in small grammatical errors in the Mother's translations and then using this as a justification for absolving you of any responsibility of "Lo Saamod Al Dam Re'echa", then your current approach will do just that.

      Please remind me which of the above they teach you at Dayonus School?

  33. Rabbi Tzadok
    Have you met or indeed spoken to either party involved?

    Besides seeing much of the evidence, I have spoken to Beth and her family.

    Unlike the Schlesingers who have made outrageous attempts to banish
    Beth from her children's lives, Beth has only tried to do her best for them.

    It was the Schlesingers who started this fight because they tried to get Beth committed. Michael was then not
    allowed to see his sons without
    supervision for 18 months.

    How did he manage to convince the judge suddenly and out of the blue that
    she gave him immediate custody?

    This does not make sense and needs an explanation!

  34. Rabbi Tzadok, We gather that you don't live in Vienna, as you told us your home (office?) is very near Rabbi Eidensohn's. So we conclude that you know neither of the 2 main protagonists in this story. Those of us who support Beth and her parents (but who are not her parents or family, as some wag has suggested) know them personally, have read some of the court documents (in German) and are very familiar with the case, although we do not all know Dr Schlesinger. It clearly makes an enormous difference if one knows the main actors in this drama in the flesh and not merely from a computer/phone screen. The Alexanders are a normal, ie decent, kind of family who have had the misfortune to experience what every parent dreads: their beloved daughter marrying the wrong man - a man who appeared to have everything going for him, who had the right religion, qualifications that would lead him somewhere in this present, complex world, and from a city that people all over long to visit if they haven't already done so. But are there not many men like that? And is there not an enormous amount of domestic violence going on? I think someone quoted a figure in Austria of 20% for DV. Now, I think we see sufficient evidence, Rabbi T, to establish that Beth Alexander married (too hurriedly, perhaps) a potentially attractive young man with ideal academic qualifications. But what about his personality? In contrast to Beth, who has been assessed by several experts, the father has not been given a total evaluation by anyone. The psychologist who examined Beth (Willinger), from Vienna Medical University, did it - according to Beth - highly unprofessionally and her findings contrasted with those by the other two (Leixnering & Wörgötter), who are known in Austria to be top-notch psychiatrists, which Willinger is not. The courts, however, ignored the results from the two highly regarded psychiatrists and only considered those obtained under devious circumstances from the psychologist with connections to members of the Jewish community. It is well known that judges tend to award children to abusers in custody cases. Barry Goldstein's book "Scared to Leave Afraid to Stay" deals with the reasons why women stay in relationships with abusers and how the family courts fail those who need them most. Austria appears to be no exception. And in this story we have the added feature of a mother who's a stranger to the otherwise very livable city of Vienna and who, like most foreigners, will take decades to reach a level of German and/or Viennese dialect which will guarantee her equality with locals in a court setting. This case needs to be re-started and its basis should be a full psychological and psychiatric examination of a man who is known to the court to be erratic and violent. Sammy and Benji cannot grow up happily and well-adjusted with a father like this, nor with the assistance of his relatives, none of whom sounds even slightly better than himself. Test them too, I suggest, and also the father's father, who was removed (legally?) from the family when the father and his sister were tiny tots. Opa may be the only one without psychiatric abnormalities.....

  35. Agreed Esther. It's time for us Yidden (especially our moral teachers and leaders) to stand up and show the world that we are menschen and know how to take care of our vulnerable and down-trodden, like Beth and others the world over. Stop abuse! Or Lagoyim!


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