Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Schlesinger Twins: A friend testifies about the intimidation of those who want to help Beth

This is the testimony of a woman in the Vienna community from 3 years ago. She requested that her name be removed because she is afraid - as the result of seeing that those who have attempted to help Beth have been harrassed and threatened. The original German is included.
October 11th 2011

I write as a woman, mother and friend of Ms. Beth Schlesinger, because it hurts that she is completely alone as a result of lies being spread about her. However, I post anonymously because I do not want the same thing to happen to me that happened to two other women in the Jewish community .

The two ladies were contacted by a third party on behalf of the Schlesinger family, with the request that they should stop "helping" Ms. S.

One of these women is actually friends with Ms. S. The other knows Ms. Schlesinger only as an acquaintance. This person was accused of giving Ms. Schlesinger financial support and claimed that only through this help did Ms. Schlesinger succeed in getting the court to agree to longer visits with her children at home in September 2011. A member of the Schlesinger family even (falsely) accused this lady of paying for lawyers who will ensure that "Beth gets the kids now."

The current situation that Ms. Schlesinger doesn't have her children and even the visits with her children have not taken place as specified, is in itself alone deeply sad and shocking. Adding 'salt to the wounds' is not only cruel but purely malicious.

There are rumors going around that have completely isolated Ms. Schlesinger from the Jewish community – portraying her as some kind of terrible mother or even a monster. For example, it would be dangerous to leave the children in her care, she must see the children only under constant supervision and should she be granted unsupervised access, the children would be in danger.  

Another example: she took her children to a psychiatric hospital and implored them to take the children from her because she could no longer cope with them. Even though I do not know the details of this dispute, I find it laughable to spread such stories. Ms. Schlesinger is fighting to her last breath for custody of the children, so why would she do such a thing (if these malicious rumors were true)? Unfortunately, however, most of the members of the community believe these lies and think Ms. Schlesinger is evil.

If the children's father's family really wished to "protect" the children, then such it would not be necessary to spread such malicious lies and rumors. Obviously, this is not about the welfare of the children but purely a way of punishing the mother.

October 11th 2011

Ich schreibe als Frau, Mutter und Bekannte von Frau Beth Schlesinger, weil es schmerzt daß sie durch Lügen komplett alleine dasteht. Ich schreibe jedoch Anonym da ich nicht möchte daß mit mir das gleiche passiert wie zwei andere Damen der jüdischen Gemeinde.
Die zwei Damen wurden von Familie Schlesinger über dritte kontaktiert, mit der Bitte, sie sollten aufhören Frau S. zu „helfen“.
Einer dieser Frauen ist tatsächlich mit Frau S. befreundet. Die andere Dame kennt Frau Schlesinger nur flüchtig. Diese wurde aber unterstellt sie hätte Frau Schlesinger finanziell unterstützt und nur durch ihre Hilfe schaffte Frau Schlesinger es in September 2011 im Gericht durchzusetzen die Kinder für mehrere Stunden mit nach hause nehmen zu dürfen. Sogar wurde von einem Mitglied der Schlesinger Familie erzählt, diese Dame hätte Rechtsanwälte bezahlt welche durchsetzten daß „Beth die Kinder jetzt bekommt.“
Die Situation daß Frau Schlesinger ihre Kinder nicht bei sich hat und sogar die Besuchtermine  nicht wie festgelegt stattgefunden haben, ist in sich alleine bereits zutiefst traurig und erschütternd, daß dazu noch „Salz auf den Wunden“ gegossen wird, finde ich nicht nur grausam sondern rein bösartig.
Es kursieren Gerüchte herum welche Frau Schlesinger von der jüdischen Gemeinde komplett isolieren – man könnte meinen man hätte es hier mit einer regelrechten Rabenmutter oder sogar Monster zu tun. Es wäre gefährlich die Kinder in ihrer Obhut zu lassen, sie dürfe nur unter ständiger Aufsicht die Kinder sehen. Sollte sie unbeaufsichtigtes Besuchrecht bekommen wäre es für die Kinder eine richtige Gefahr.
Sie habe zum Beispiel ihre Kinder in einer Psychiatrie gebracht und dort das Personal angefleht man soll ihr die Kinder abnehmen, sie könne nicht mehr mit denen umgehen. Auch wenn ich nicht die Einzelheiten dieses Disputs kenne, fände ich es lachhaft so eine Geschichte herum zu erzählen. Frau Schlesinger kämpft ja bis zum letzen Atem um das sorgerecht der Kinder, warum würde sie so etwas tun?  Leider glauben es aber die meisten Mitglieder der Gemeinde und machen Frau Schlesinger somit zur Bösen.
Würde es der Familie des Kindesvaters nur darum gehen die Kinder zu „beschützen“ dann würden solche Gerüchten und Lügen nicht notwendig sein. Anscheinend geht es hier jedoch nicht um das Wohl der Kinder sondern um einen Rachezug.

Schlesinger Twins: Why was Dr. Schlesinger unhappy with the report of the ESRA psychiatrist that Beth was tricked into seeing?

Update: Added comment on the translation of Dr. Schlesinger's lawyer's false assertion regarding the ESRA diagnosis at the bottom of the post] As repeatedly noted, Dr. Schlesinger is obsessed with the idea that Beth is suffering from major mental illness. He failed in his attempt to have his wife committed because he was sure that she was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. The police psychiatrist rejected this possibility. He involvement into tricking Beth to go to ESRA for a diagnosis of at least post-partum depression also failed.

Below is the actual report of the Esra psychiatrist in the original German and in English translation. Also I included Dr. Schlesinger's pointed rejection of this diagnosis in response to Beth's appeal to regain custody that she lost to him. Dr. Schlesinger is convinced that the psychiatrists are wrong and only he understands that Beth is clearly paranoid, schizophrenic and suffering from postpartum depression. I find it strange that no one has picked up on this obsession to have Beth committed as well as to control her in an abusive fashion. That alone should have been enough to return custody to Beth.


Centre for psychosocial, sociotherapeutic and sociocultural integration

  Clinic for delayed reactions and illness resulting from a Holocaust or migration syndrome

Vienna, 3 March 2010


Re:  Ms. Beth Schlesinger, DOB: 22.8.1984

Taborstr. 38/2, 1020 Vienna

Dear colleague,

Ms Beth Schlesinger came to our clinic on 10 November 2009 because of a sleep deficit over a period of months caused by a very troublesome care situation with 6-month-old twins. 

The patient stated the following:

She was born and grew up in Manchester, England, has two brothers, married a Viennese and has been living in Vienna for three years. She has worked as a TESOL teacher (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and at a migrant organization. 

Ms. Schlesinger has two sons, twins aged six months. Her husband is a house officer (intern) at the Wilhelminenspital (KAV, 1160 Wien) in Vienna. The pregnancy was normal, a Caesarean section at the Vienna AKH (General Hospital) in the 35th week. The children are healthy but could only be breastfed for 4.5 months, as they had become used to a bottle by that point.

Neither parent was able to sleep much at night – at the most two hours – as one of the children would then wake up, leading to extreme stress. The parents tried to react quickly when this happened so that the other child did not wake up too. The patient is exhausted although she has a daytime household help. The situation is too much for her and she is unable to sleep during the day as well.

Ms. Schlesinger’s family lives in England, her husband’s family in Vienna. The latter, however, do not help her. On the contrary, her mother-in-law phones her again and again, wanting to know everything but offering no assistance whatsoever. She also has a sister-in-law (the boys’ aunt) in Vienna but neither her mother-in-law nor her sister-in-law does anything to help her.

Psychopathological status: clear-thinking, fully oriented, no hints of positive symptoms of schizophrenia, labile mood, emotions predominantly negative, makes exhausted impression, under considerable stress, normal cognitive powers except for disturbance of attention resulting from exhaustion, enormously stressful situation due to sleep-deprivation and disruption of her biorhythm. 

The patient was offered parent counseling for the stressful situation she was in. Other strategies were discussed.  Zoldem® (zolpidem) when required was prescribed for sleeping problems.

Diagnosis: adjustment disorder F 43.20 (brief depressive reaction due to the stress associated with situation at home)

Signed:  Dr. David Vyssoki, Medical Director               Dr. Waltraud Fellinger-Vols, Psychiatrist

Added by translator: ICD-10

F43 Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders

F43.0 Acute stress reaction

F43.1 Post-traumatic stress disorder

F43.2 Adjustment disorders

.20 Brief depressive reaction

.21 Prolonged depressive reaction

.22 Mixed anxiety and depressive reaction

.23 With predominant disturbance of other emotions

.24 With predominant disturbance of conduct

.25 With mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct

.28 With other specified predominant symptoms

F43.8 Other reactions to severe stress

F43.9 Reaction to severe stress, unspecified

Original German report of the findings of the psychiatrist and the diagnosis that she is simply suffering from the stress of lack of sleep.

Psychopathologischer Status: klar, allseits orientiert, geordnet, kein Hinweis auf produktive Symptomatik, Stimmungslage eher labil, mehr im negativen Bereich affizierbar, wirkt erschöpft, belastet, kognitive Leistungen bis auf erschöpfungsbedingte Konzentrationsstörung unauffällig, massive Belastungssituation durch Schlafdefizit mit Biorhythmusstörung.

Angesichts der belasteten Situation wurde der Patientin eine Elternberatung angeboten, weiters wurden Strategien besprochen. Eine Einschlafhilfe durch Zoldem 10 mg Tabletten bei Bedarf wurde verordnet.

Es wurde die Diagnose einer Anpassungsstörung F 43.20 gestellt, im Sinne einer leichten depressiven Reaktion im Rahmen der Belastungssituation.

Für Rückfragen stehen wir gerne zur Verfügung


[Notice that he not only disagrees with the psychiatrists reporting that they failed to find post partum depression but he wants to include in the report that she has "a paranoid personality structure". Finally he distorts the ESRA report - which while noting that Beth was in a situation of acute stress from sleep deprivation dealing with the twins - does not say that they recommend "urgent therapeutic help".]

update In the excerpt below the German says ... Also the children father rejects the ESRA diagnosis which asserted that Beth does not have post partum depression. @Flower raised the question who else disagreed with the report. The translator said that the reason that she omitted the previous sentence is because it make a false assertion. It says that not only does Beth reject the ESRA report which says she doesn't have postpartum depression but also Michael rejects it.

In other words Dr. Schlesinger's lawyer is falsely asserting in the appeals document that Beth says the ESRA psychiatrist was wrong and that she in fact does have post partum depression and that also Michael agrees with that.

The father disagrees with the negative statement (regarding post partum depression) and wishes it to be changed to an alternative or additional one about her paranoid personality structure, the way she manipulates her environment, and that the ESRA (Vienna Jewish community psychosocial centre) therapist, who the mother and a girlfriend ["Janet"] went to see, stated that she was subject to a situation of acute stress and recommended that she get urgent therapeutic help”

„….Auch der Kindesvater bekämpft diese Negativfeststellung und begehrt an deren Stelle die Ersatz- bzw die ergänzende Feststellung zur paranoiden Persönlichkeitsstruktur, zu deren ihre Umwelt manipulierenden Verhalten sowie dazu, dass jene Therapeutin der ESRA (dem psychosozialen Zentrum der IKG), die die Kindesmutter gemeinsam mit einer Freundin aufgesucht hatte, bei ihr eine akute Belastungssituation konstatiert und ihr dringend therapeutische Hilfe anempfohlen hat „     

Schlesinger Twins: Who is Dr. Michael Schlesinger?

I have posted many articles regarding the Schlesinger twins and I still find this case difficult to understand or justify. updated and corrected click link for transcript of facts reported in Parliament

The basic  facts are that when Beth and Michael got married she moved from England and settled in his community in Vienna.  They are both highly intelligent. They have twin boys. Apparently the marriage had significant problems from the beginning. Beth claims she was having serious doubts about the marriage because of what she claims was his strange and abusive - both physically and psychologically - behavior. (She claims for example that he prevented her from using the bath room at night.) The marriage official fell apart after the twins were 8 months old (after 3.5 years).

At that point Michael - who is a medical doctor - tried unsuccessfully to have Beth committed to a mental hospital. Beth received full custody of the twins with Dr. Schlesinger having supervised visits. After a year there was a custody trial by a judge (Susanne Göttlicher) who did not know Schlesinger, but, higher court judge Konstanze Thau (who has no legal position in the case) was a family friend of Schlesinger's, and was advising him as admitted by Schlesinger in court and documented in the court transcripts. The judge gave a totally unexpected ruled - based on a psychological evaluation by a psychiatrist who is alleged to have connections with the Schlesinger family - that full custody was given to Michael.

The court-appointed psychiatrist who heavily criticized Beth in her report was Dr Ulrike Willinger (this was the underpinning reason for the transfer of custody in 2011). She was an employee of Konstanta Thau's husband, Kenneth Thau (who is himself a psychiatrist) at AKH hospital: http://www.akhwien.at/default.aspx?pid=285 . Dr Willinger has been discredited in other custody cases where she has been heavily critical of the mother's parenting skills, and a subsequent court-commissioned report by Dr Werner Leixnering states: “Neither at the time of the examination nor at any point in the past, has [Beth] suffered from any form of mental illness.” http://helpbeth.org/london-jewish-news-16-11-2012/

 Beth has supervised handovers for which she must pay 50 euros. This means that both Beth and Mr Schlesinger have to go to a "family center" at the start and end of each visit so that they don't meet each other. Once the transfer is complete, Beth is allowed the visit to be unsupervised and to take the children away for the length of the visit. In practice, the handover doesn't actually need to be done by a "family center". Beth could pick them up from the Kindergarten for example or take up Chief Rabbi Eisenberg's offer to do the handover at the Stadttempel under his supervision. In actual fact, the family center have regularly failed to protect Beth from Mr Schlesinger's verbal abuse at the start and end of the visits.
Beth reports that her children have significantly deteriorated in Michael's custody where they are being raised by two non-Jewish women. For example their front teeth were extracted because of decay that occurred after they moved in with their father. They are functioning significantly behind their age level in language and in fact don't speak normally. It is not clear how they are doing in the Chabad school they attend since the school refuses to divulge any information to Beth. There are reports that they don't wear kippos or tzitzis Furthermore Beth reports that at times Michael arbitrarily cancels visits because of various claims he has against her.

It is difficult to me to understand what justification there is denying the children their mother  and instead raising them with non-Jewish babysitters. It is difficult to understand why Beth should be denied knowledge about how they are doing in school. It is strange that the Jewish community should tolerate this situation.

It seems obvious that there is a need for an outside evaluation of the children. This in fact was ordered by the court - but has never been implemented. It is also strange that Dr. Schlesinger has not been evaluated for his mental health and competence as a parent.

In the name of fairness, I would welcome a guest post by Dr. Schlesinger explaining his side of the story and why he thinks it is important that Beth not be given a normal relationship with her children and what is the basis for the reports about the twins developmental and language problems. Obviously he has a different understanding then she - and it would be helpful if he or one of his supporters explained his side of the story. It would also be helpful if some of his background could be provided - such as where he works and why he thinks the marriage fell apart so quickly despite appearing to be such a promising relationship.

Corruption in the Austrian Justice System


Sources indicate that Konstanze Thau and her friend District Judge Susanne Göttlicher abused the judicial process by allegedly taking a bribe of €70,000. The bribe came from medical doctor Michael Schlesinger, father of two boys, and after a war of attrition in the courts, he took sole custody of those children. The court process was used to harry the mother, Beth Alexander until she had little alternative but to flee Vienna for her homeland England. She has not seen her children since November 2016. Konstanze Thau, Michael Schlesinger and Beth Alexander were all members of Vienna's Jewish community however the city rabbis failed to intervene in the case, except to protect Schlesinger's interests.

Schlesinger Twins: Court document - Rabbi Biderman sent Beth's confidential email to Michael and to Judge Thau

The following is a court document which shows clearly that Rabbi Biderman is not only a supporter of Dr. Schlesinger but was actively involved in the custody battle against Beth.  Before Beth had her own blogsite, she would alert a small mailing list of Rabbis to events in Austria in the hope that someone would listen and step in. Rabbi Biderman was one of these Rabbis and, unbeknown to Beth, he was forwarding them to Dr. Schlesinger and also to Konstanze Thau (the judge who is the friend of Dr. Schlesinger who inappropriately intervened in the case). Schlesinger's lawyer accidentally forwarded it to the court and it became a court document. 

Lauren Boebert's apology to Ilhan Omar for a blatantly Islamophobic 'joke' is pure theate


 But Boebert has not only in trafficked in bigotry, but she has also been a visible part of the Jan. 6 attack and its aftermath. On Jan. 6, just hours before the Capitol attack, Boebert tweeted, “Today is 1776,” which, as experts note, is used by far-right activists to indicate support for “a revolution in the wake of Trump’s election loss,” which they view as illegitimate. Boebert has also slammed the Department of Justice for what she deems unfair treatment of those arrested for their role in the Jan. 6 attack on our Capitol. She has documented ties to white nationalist militias such as the Three Percenters, whose members provided security at her rallies and some of whom have been arrested for their involvement in the Jan 6. attack. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack should subpoena Boebert to provide testimony under oath given her tweet and ties to the Three Percenters.

Israeli Supreme Court upholds ruling sending Eitan Biran back to Italy


 Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Eitan Biran, a 6-year-old boy who was orphaned in a cable car crash in Italy, must be returned to his paternal family in Italy by December 12, rejecting a final appeal from his Israel-based family.

Biran, who was living in Italy at the time of the cable car crash in May that killed his parents, his younger brother and his great-grandparents, has become the subject of a bitter custody fight between his Italy-based paternal family and his Israel-based maternal family.

After an Italian court temporarily granted the paternal family custody, Biran’s maternal grandfather, Shmuel Peleg, secretly smuggled the boy to Israel via Switzerland, prompting claims of kidnapping.

Orthodox Union sued over past abuse by rabbi convicted of sexual abuse


 More than two decades after publication of allegations that Rabbi Baruch Lanner abused teens in his charge for more than 30 years, four of his victims are seeking their day in court.

The four women, now middle aged and older, filed a lawsuit today with the Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County against Lanner, the Orthodox Union and the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, the OU’s youth arm, where Lanner was a top official. 
It is believed to be the first such legal action taken against the Orthodox organizations as a result of the scandal involving Lanner, 72, who was forced to resign days after The Jewish Week published in 2000 an investigation that detailed charges against him by more than a dozen former NCSY members.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Pilegesh is not a heter for fornication

 There are some people mistakenly think that premarital sex is permitted because of pilegesh, in fact pil;esh is a type of marriage.


• A number of recent writers have raised the question of whether pilegesh should be revived as an institution in modern society to resolve current challenges.
• In the mid 1990s an organization based in New York purported to arrange concubines. It was met with outrage and condemnation
by all rabbinic bodies.41 Other such organizations have sprung up over the last 20 years.42
• In 2006 Prof. Zvi Zohar (an academic at Bar Ilan University) wrote a highly provocative article promoting Pilgashut to resolve pressingissues which he identified in religious society, including: young couples who identify as orthodox but live together before marriage,young orthodox men who conduct illicit relationships with non-Jewish women, older single women who are unable to marry.
• Zohar’s article received detailed responses from Rav Shmuel Ariel, Rav Yehuda Henkin and Rabbanit Michal Tukochinsky/Rabbanit Racheli Fraenkel. All entirely negated his position on halachic, hashkafic, moral, ethical and societal grounds. These include its demeaning effect on women, the undermining of the sanctity of marriage and the halachic and hashkafic imperatives on young people
to marry, and the undermining of sexual morality in society as a whole43.
• In 2012, a senior Sefardi Rabbi in Israel suggested pilagshut as a possible solution in the case of a man whose wife refused to accept a get and where the man needed to have a family and perform the mitzva of pru u’revu44.

Modern Orthodox premarital sex

In their mid-1980s study of varieties of Orthodox Jews, sociologists Samuel C. Heilman and Steven M. Cohen (Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, pp. 173–179) found, across the range of Orthodox people they studied, “younger respondents consistently reported more indulgent attitudes toward the practice of premarital sex than their older counterparts”; that almost a quarter of those they labeled as “centrists” (not to be confused with what scholars at Yeshiva University term “centrist”; see David Berger’s highly critical review of the Heilman-Cohen book, Modern Judaism 11:2, (May 1991), pp. 261–272) do not disapprove of sexual relations between couples who are dating seriously, and as many as 40 percent do not disapprove for those who are engaged to be married; and that among younger centrists, only about half disapproved sexual relations for those dating seriously, and less than half disapproved for engaged couples. Although these figures reflect attitudes, it is hard to imagine that there was a highly significant gap between attitudes and behavior. The popularity of the expression “tefilin date” also apparently reflected a reality of otherwise observant Orthodox Jews who spent the night with their dates but prayed wearing tefilin the following morning. 
Most recently, Zvi Zohar (“Zugiyut al-pi haHalakha lelo hupa veKidushin,” Akdamot 17 (Shevat 5767), pp. 11–33) argued, based on the opinions of Nahmanides (1194–1270), Rabbi Abraham ben David (Rabad, 1125–1198), and Rabbi Shelomo ben Aderet (Rashba, 1235–1310), as well Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697–1776) that there is no prohibition against sexual relations without marriage so long as the relationship is not illicit, that is, it is consensual and monogamous, and the woman observes the laws of niddah and mikvah. His thesis was strongly rejected (in the same issue of Akdamot) by Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, Shemuel Ariel, Mikhal Tikochinsky, and Rachel Shprecher Frankel. Despite their rejections of its halakhic legitimacy, sexual relations among the unmarried was apparently perceived to be significant enough of a phenomenon in the Orthodox and traditional communities that the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Yonah Metzger, issued a ban on allowing unmarried women to use mikvaot. The effectiveness of that ban is anyone’s guess.

Tefilin dates and kiruv