Sunday, September 8, 2019

Guest Post rabbis accused of sexual abuse Joe Orlow


Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, the owner of this Daas Torah blog, has been extraordinarily gracious to me and many others over the years. He has published numerous of my guest posts and given me an opportunity to comment virtually without restraint.


Yet, this post may not make the cut. It goes beyond provocative and accusatory and crosses the line, perhaps, into fundamentally questioning the viability of the Yeshiva system as it stands today in America.



Through this blog I reluctantly learned of the extent of molestation that goes on in Yeshivas and Seminaries. To be sure, others guided me also in my attempt to untangle this most difficult topic. Rabbi Yehuda Levin has brought up this issue. Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn introduced me to this blog and shared information he has gathered from his sources.



There are way too many cases to make a complete list of incidents that led me to where I am today in my having a vantage point to examine the underbelly of the beast. Some cases stand out more than others. Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn told me of a case, if I recall correctly, of a boy in a Yeshiva who complained of homosexual activity between some students in his dorm, and was subsequently expelled for pushing the matter.



The incident of the many allegations against a founder of girls' seminaries in Eretz Yisrael stands out.



And of course there is the ongoing technical molestation of a woman by her own husband who it turns out is not her husband, a cruelty inflicted on her by a conspiracy of her Rabbis.



The pattern of these and other documented cases on this blog and other blogs, both recent cases and cases going back decades, is that complainants, people who protest against molestation, are labeled "troublemakers".



I do not include links to webpages because because I cannot vouch for their veracity nor their adherence to Halachic standards of speech (including allegations against those who are not able to respond). There are webpages that illustrate the points I've made but I will leave it the reader to use thir discretion in independently researching the matter.



The above is a lead-in to the continuing saga of a case that has pushed me over the edge.



There is an abundance of evidence that Rabbi Daniel Greer is a danger to the community. He has been accused of molesting students. He has invoked the Fifth Amendment in court proceedings regarding his sexual activity with male Jewish teenagers. To plead the Fifth is to exercise the right not to be compelled to testify in a way that incriminates oneself.



The Jewish community would seem justified in acting to protect people from Rabbi Daniel Greer. Yet, when Rabbi Greer wants to make a Minyan, he has been able to get young men from a nearby town to Daven with him. Only when the young men get there, it seems to be, do they learn that he is an alleged molester, as locals warn them upon their arrival.



By happenstance, I was discussing this case with someone who had his phone in speaker mode, and someone with him said he had been with a group that indeed was lured to make a Minyan and that he only learned on his arrival why apparently no one in the city would Daven with Rabbi Greer.



This made the case personal. Why hasn't there been a hue and cry against Rabbi Daniel Greer? Why is this blog and a few others online seemingly the only place to raise the alarm? Why aren't there better mechanisms to stop molestastion?



The answer is coming into sharp focus for me. It took me long enough.



Within what we call the Yeshivish, Chareidi, Litvish, whatever term you prefer, world, the widespread and appalling lack of truly effective safeguards against molestation is not the result of pathetic passiveness. I speak as an outside observer. Maybe I've missed something. I'm willing to admit that. Prove me wrong and I will be much obliged. Certainly my intent is not to overgeneralize. Some places may have have rules that are the means to eradicate degeneracy in their midst.



I'm beginning to find too much of a pattern, though, and I've come to believe it's a strategy. The prevailing conscious attitude is that nothing must be done to give the impression that Torah observant families and their communities are less than perfect. When something comes up to shake this illusion, the approach is to do all possible to ignore it, unless that becomes impossible, such as when it became abundantly evident a Kosher store had been selling the public Treif chickens.



I think this overarching principle to preserve appearances is perhaps an alternative meaning to the term Sinas Chinom, baseless hatred. The word "Chinom", "gratuitous, for no reason" (according to the Jastrow Dictionary), as in "freely given hatred", is related to "Chain", "grace", the quality of being "likeable".



Sinas Chinom, responsible for so much of our troubles in this last Galus, could thus be though of as "likeable hatred" as well as "baseless hatred": exhibiting groundless hatred to some in order to be liked by others. That's a stretch, and may violate laws of grammar, but aptly describes the willingness to sacrifice all, including integrity and self-preservation, to satisfy the drive to appear perfect. "If hating fellow Jews, in this case being quiet as boys unknowingly end up associating with a know molester, is what it takes to get the world to buy that our community is wonderful, so be it."



So, that is why Rabbi Greer is shunned but not ostracized totally. It just "wouldn't be nice" to do that to him, as well as "not nice to publicize the idea among students that Jews can be molesters." Well, sometimes being nice is actually nasty. If this is what Yeshivas and Seminaries have become, places where the occasional student is sacrificed on the altar of perfection, maybe it's time to start over.



Instead of treating students nastily in the service of conformity to some nebulous standard of perfection, let's try sacrificing conformity in the service of being nice to students.



But will that happen without outside coercion? Obedience to parents and teachers has become the idol to worship, never to be questioned nor veered away from. Even if the teacher is requiring a student to be their sex slave.


12 comments :

  1. Agree, but the author's name should be attached to this article. The author's name gives credibility to the article. Not too late. Add it now.

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  2. just to reinforce the point
    when I was writing my books on child abuse
    I learned that one of the major educational organization actually had protocols
    for dealing with this problem
    I contacted the rabbi who leads the group and said I wanted to publish the protocols
    He wasn't happy about that and said I should speak to his lawyer

    when I asked why he wasn't willing to publish it showing that he was concerned
    He replied he didn't want people to think that the orthodox schools had a problem

    similarly after Baltimore rabbis published their concerns about the matter
    I spoke to one of the rabbis who was involved

    he expressed regret that they had publicized the matter since the issue could be dealt with by forcing the offender to leave the community

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  3. Well, now that the author's name has been added, my comments. I've been reading Joseph Orlow's articles for years, and he is a keen, astute, and wise thinker. This article is another example. Almost hard to believe, but I first blogged on the child sex abuse problem, on the UOJ blog, in Jan 06. More than 13 yrs ago. And, still, no fundamental change has occurred, in either the modern or Chareidi American yeshivas and day schools. The change that has occurred is ad hoc, and piecemeal. That this is the case among the Chareidi yeshivas is less of a surprise than that it is also true for the so-called modern orthodox day schools, which should be more capable of systemic change. The usual meraglim seem to be in control of both yeshivas and day schools. Employee background checks, mandatory reporting compliance, and abuse prevention education for both teachers and students is all still lacking. I know of other "Greers" - they daven unimpeded in our yeshivas and shuls, and are given the customary aliyahs. The cynicism such a sight breeds is indescribable, and the damage incalculable.

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  4. Thank you for the kind words. Your last line says it all. I spent several days last week and last night researching the Greer case. It was either take off my Kipa or write a guest post.

    Thank G-d for true Jewish leaders like Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn and Rabbi Yehuda Levin. Their steadfastness is an example of how to stand up and fight.

    Seems like you are also a veteran of many battles, Eliot.

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  5. Hopscotch Pet PeeverSeptember 9, 2019 at 3:10 AM

    I agree but I think it's even worse than that. I think that power corrupts and especially when the seeking of the power to begin with is for self serving reasons. I think for the most part, with some exceptions of course, that the proprietors of yeshivos aren't in it for the right reasons. They don't care about the students and they don't care about The Torah. They are merely self serving in one form or another. Therefore they have no right to be running yeshivos. The rest is a manifestation of this flawed system. Molestation, not excepting boys who they think won't build their self serving interests. Etc. So Joe Orwell is right but it's a detail of the greater problem.

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  6. “Guest Post rabbis accused of sexual abuse Joe Orlow”
    Kiddushin 21b-22a
    Our Rabbis taught: “and you see among the captives a beautiful woman אשת יפת תאר and you desire her וחשקת בה and would take her to wife” (Deuteronomy 21:11) when taking her captive [permission is granted only if the woman was originally taken for lust, but not if she was taken for enslavement] a woman even married; of beautiful countenance the Torah only provided for human passions לא דברה תורה אלא כנגד יצר הרע : it is better for a Jew to eat flesh of [animals] about to die, yet [ritually] slaughtered, than flesh of dying animals which have perished without ritual slaughter [The first too is repulsive, but sanctioned.]
    תלמוד בבלי מסכת קידושין כ”א ב' - כ”ב א'
    ת"ר: וראית בשביה - בשעת שביה, אשת - ואפילו אשת איש, יפת תואר - לא דברה תורה אלא כנגד יצר
    הרע, מוטב שיאכלו ישראל בשר תמותות שחוטות ואל יאכלו בשר תמותות נבילות, הרע, מוטב שיאכלו ישראל בשר
    Ezekiel 33: Righteousness (learning Torah in a yeshiva/kollel ) won’t help if they sin giving in to their evil inclinations/lusts
    “Now, O mortal, say to your fellow countrymen: The righteousness of the righteous צדקת הצדיק shall not save him when he transgresses, nor shall the wickedness of the wicked cause him to stumble when he turns back from his wickedness. The righteous וצדיק shall not survive בה (through his righteousness) when he sins.
    You have relied on your sword חרבכם, you have committed abominations תועבה, you have all defiled טמאתם other men’s wives—yet you expect to possess the land! (Ezekiel 33: 12 and 26)

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  7. The problem is that over at the Cross Currents blog, this is still treated as Jew hatred and false accusation. If it is happening, it's minimal and the "mesorah" demands it be kept in the community without the involvement of the police or social services. And if you disagree, mesirah! Better that children should be abused than that!

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  8. Not just on that blog

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  9. Reports Larry Dressler made on his blog larrynoodles.com are arguably the reason that the civil suit moved forward against Rabbi Greer.

    According to my understanding of what Larry was telling me today on the phone, the criminal case against Rabbi Greer almost didn't happen. The accuser made a report to the police, but the police sat on it for like a year. Rabbi Greer was only arrested AFTER the civil judgement was announced.

    So something happened to spur the criminal prosecution. My point here is that it almost didn't happen. Rabbi Greer almost evaded a criminal trial.

    So whether there are numerous cases of child molestation in Jewish schools or not, one thing is for sure. Someone contemplating molestating a child can feel pretty confident they can get away with it. Rabbi Greer's case is almost a fluke.

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  10. And let's not forget the ultimate PR Front Group, called Agudas Yisroel, lobbied with all its might, hand in hand with the evil Catholic Church pedo front group, against the statute of limitation legislation that would enable justice for victims of molestors. Gee, why were they so against that being lifted?

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  11. Joseph Orlow “Reports Larry Dressler made on his blog larrynoodles.com are arguably the reason that the civil suit moved forward against Rabbi Greer.”
    Thanks, Joseph Orlow. I looked at blog larrynoodles.com. I learned a few things. See my letter today:
    1.I request permission to submit these papers concerning my motion 649 7/15/2019. I'm attaching an affidavit of service proving I mailed by UPS a true copy to Susan. I attach Exhibit A: Susan Opposition to Motion for Reargument 1/4/2015.
    2.Exhibit A: Susan Opposition to Motion for Reargument 1/4/2015 shows that on 1/4/2015 Susan wrote: The Hon. Judge Prus after being handed a copy of Judge Rigler's Judgment of Separation states “Let the record reflect that a judgment of Separation was issued by Judge William Rigler on March 7, 1995.”
    3.Appendix B Contested Judgment of Divorce Judge Eric I. Prus signed 9/10/2013 in my SCOTUS 18-9390 states: “ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Separation Judgment dated March 7, 1995 an original of which is on file with this Court along with a transcript of the proceedings and Order of the Supreme Court Kings County by Judge Rigler and incorporated herein by reference, shall survive...”
    4.I request the NYS COA to release to me the Rigler Separation Judgment dated March 7, 1995. I need the NYS COA to intervenei and to order the Supreme Court Kings County to release a copy to me. The law requires a judge to release critical documents necessary to a defendant. I contest the 2013 NYS civil divorce.
    I notice on Wikipedia: “Ezra Zifrani and his daughter Esther Weitzner pleaded guilty in February 2004 to one misdemeanor conspiracy charge. They admitted having given $5,000 to Elmann (the "fixer"), to influence Garson's handling of a custody dispute between Weitzner and her ex-husband involving their five children. They said that Elman "clearly implied" he was going to bribe Garson. They did not know, however, whether the money was actually paid to Garson. Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrosio ruled in August 2004 that Weizner was an unfit parent for her children, because she paid the bribe. In exchange for their pleas and their cooperation in the investigation, in August 2007 they were each sentenced to 210 hours of community service and three years of probation.”
    Wow Zifrani and Weitzner admitted paying $5,000 bribe and no jail. Why? Not clear Zifrani and Weitzner bribed Gerald Garson. Not clear if Comey leaked classified documents to the New York Times. He gave those memos to a Columbia law professor to pass to the NYT. Bribery and perjury (false statements and false documents) are hard to prove. Bribery and perjury can lead to murder, Heaven forbid. I keep saying, thank God I’m in Israel.
    “Cursed be he who strikes down his fellow countryman in secret—And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he who accepts bribe in the case of the murder [i.e., to acquit the murderer; others to slay] of an innocent person—And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:24-25).
    דברים פרק כז פסוק כה
    אָרוּר לֹקֵחַ שֹׁחַד לְהַכּוֹת נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי וְאָמַר כָּל הָעָם אָמֵן

    ReplyDelete

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