In his column, Rabbi Horowitz suggests that we have reached the point where we can no longer be silent. If we are going to address the problem of abuse and violence in our community, we have to first confront it, stand up in public and denounce it, and demand of our leaders (both religious and secular) that it has to end.
As he writes:
The time has come for us to speak out, telling our children and students in unequivocal terms, “These people are criminals and sinners – and do not represent us!” Our publications should begin reporting these incidents in the news sections of our papers, condemn them in our editorials, and call upon the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.
We should stop using politically correct terms like “misguided youths” to describe cowards who beat women for sitting in the “wrong” sections of buses and physically assault peaceful citizens who do not dress according to their standards – observant or otherwise. “Misguided youth” implies that they engaged in a prank, like a water fight, or that they went overboard in pursuit on a noble goal. There is nothing noble about these acts – or the terrorist mentality that glorifies them.
We must clearly and unequivocally condemn the violence each time it happens in the strongest language. Halachic (Judaic law) rulings ought to be issued, that those who commit violence against innocent people are rodfim (individuals who present a real and present danger to others) and one is obligated by our Torah to defend the victim and report the criminals to the police.
I am posting this column on my website (www.rabbihorowitz.com ) and I respectfully call upon charedim worldwide to post a comment at the bottom of the column with your name and email address and the city where you live supporting the sentiments expressed here.
I *strongly* urge you to go to Rabbi Horowitz's site and sign - preferably with your real name and city, but if not, at least go and lend your support in the thread. As Rabbi Horowitz concluded:
If enough Torah-observant individuals stand up, distance ourselves from these criminals, and demand action from our elected officials, we might affect changes which will restore honor to G-d’s name and end these acts of terror that plague us.
Amen, V'Ken Y'hi Ratzon...