Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Better later than never: Novominsker Rebbe says ok to report abuse to police


Honesty wrote:
Is this the video you intended to post? Where does he speak about going to the police? Wasn't raglayim l'dovor always his position?

There is a problem with certain bloggers and "activists" who are more interested in using the abused as a way to fill their emotional needs of bravado. Just think about the crazy mashgiach story where those who came to the police were guaranteed anonymity, but were publicized by "activists" and bloggers.

I responded:

Your objection is solid. It seems clear that the purpose of this speech was to attack bloggers and child abuse is just an excuse for that attack(i.e. defense of Daas Torah and gedolim). 
The person who sent this video to me felt that this was a major change. It can be interpreted that way since he is saying that if there are raglayim ldavar it is permitted to go to the police - and he doesn't say that a rabbi has to decide that fact. However it can also be readily understood as just repeating previous views. 
So the issue comes down to whether a rabbi needs to decide. The position of the Aguda has always been that a rabbi needs to decide. Here he doesn't say rabbi but just say that if there are raglayim ldavar you can go to the police. 
However since his purpose was to primarily to smash bloggers it can also be understood that he is just stating there is a possibility of going to the police - contrary to the lies of the bloggers. But that he still holds that without a psak from a rabbi one can not go to the police. 
His comments are at best disingenuous or he is simply ignorant of facts that he should know about. The senior gadol in America has stated that one does not sacrifice the viability of a yeshiva to  report a molester to the police. Rabbi Belsky's letter in the Kolko case speaks for itself. I personally was told by a rabbi in Baltimore that the best way to deal with molesters is to send them to another community - not to report them. In the Webeman case - there was no condemnation of Weberman by the Aguda.  
In fact what case has the Aguda said to report a molester to the police? Anybody remember the Colmer case? Daas Torah Blog  and Survivors for Justice
There is more to speak on the subject but the Noveminsker's speech is more concerned with defending Daas Torah against the claim of incompetence or evil than it is about protecting children. 
There is in fact a problem of the activity of the activists - but that does not justify the gross rewriting of history and double think expressed in the above video.

p.s. When I asked the head of Torah u'Mesorah about including their protocols for dealing with sexual abuse in my book on abuse - he responded that that was problematic and that I should speak with the organization's lawyer. When I asked what was the problem since it clearly showed that Torah u'Mesora was concerned about properly dealing with the issue. He responded if it is published it will give people the idea that we have an abuse problem. I published it anyway since I had received a copy from someone working at Torah u'Mesorah. 

So while it is true that the chareidi rabbis have spent a lot of time talking about the issue - they have done very little to prevent it or to deal properly with abuse when it has happened. 

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