As you are all aware, a number of J-bloggers called upon the Jewish Press last week to condemn the way that Rabbi Dr. Twerski was blackmailed into resigning from Dov Hikind's task force. Well, they did condemn it... sort on. Here's the response:
The Jewish Press joins our columnist Rabbi Yakov Horowitz and others in condemning the shabby treatment Rabbi Dr. Benzion Twerski received from some self-appointed guardians of the faith over his participation in an anti-abuse task force geared toward the Orthodox community.
Dr. Twerski is a serious, thoughtful and highly talented individual and has much to offer in the way of dealing with child abuse in our community. Those truly committed to the interests of our community should be thinking of ways to get him to spend more time on our problems rather than less.
Although there is no way to guarantee that the sort of thing to which Dr. Twerski was subjected will not recur, we do believe it is as important for Assemblyman Dov Hikind and the others involved in the new task force to spend time reaching out to the community for support and cooperation as it is to highlight the nature of the problem.
There must be clarification of the centrality of halacha to the project, the primacy of due process protections, the involvement of a broad spectrum of people to evaluate complaints and, overall, the momentous contributions a project like this can make to the well-being of our community.
Shabby treatment??! Shabby treatment is what happens when someone snubs you and doesn't say Good Shabbos. Shabby treatment is when your neighbor chooses to ignore your simcha which you invited him to and he doesn't even say Mazel Tov. This wasn't shabby treatment -- it was blackmail. It was a threat to the social (and possibly physical) well being of his family. That's well beyond "shabby treatment." Calling that "shabby treatment" is like calling a gunshot wound a "boo boo."
The response as a whole is tepid at best. Where is the outrage that there are people who actively looking out for the child molesters' best interests? Where is the condemnation of the very fact that there are those who think it's fine and dandy to threaten someone's family because they don't agree with you on a social issue?
I am truly disappointed in the Editorial Board of the Jewish Press. I expected a much stronger response. I'll give them credit for running Rabbi Horowitz's articles on the subject, but I expected that they themselves would see clear to the issue of protecting children from monsters in our midst.