Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yesterday, The Child Molesters Won

Yesterday, the child molesters won.

As many blogs have pointed out, Rabbi Benzion Twerski, noted psychologist and rabbi, was threatened into leaving Dov Hikind's special task for on sexual abuse in the Jewish community. In short, his family was threatened with complete ostracization (and perhaps worse) if he participated. While I can say that I'm disappointed that Rabbi Twerski backed down, and I can't really condemn him, as he has a responsibility to his family first and the community only afterwards. His decision may show a lack of leadership on his part, but, in the end, I can't really condemn him.

That being said, I don't know who it was specifically that threatened him, but whoever you are, I hope you're feeling happy. You allowed the child molesters to win one yesterday.

I could understand trying to force Rabbi Twerski off the committee if they felt that he was going to be unfair. I could understand it if they felt that he would start throwing around baseless accusations. I could understand pressuring him to quit if they thought he was unqualified to be working on the committee. None of these apply with regard to Rabbi Twerski. No one has accused him of being unfair. No one has even suggested that he would begin accusing people baselessly. Lastly, he is extremely qualified to be on a committee regarding this matter.

So, what does that leave? It leaves people who, for whatever reasons, want to protect the molesters. It leaves people who think that our track record of dealing with child molesters internally over the past thirty years has been highly successful; when, in reality, our record in this matter has been a dismal failure. It leaves people who think that sweeping problems under the rug is a real solution; that if we ignore the problem then it doesn't exist. It leaves people who think that reputation is more important than deeds, but are so deluded as to think that our reputation is still unblemished; when, in reality, it is soiled beyond repair.

So, congratulations to them all. They won one yesterday. They aided and abetted the molesters and allowed them greater freedom to continue their activities. I don't wish evil on anyone, but I hope that if, God forbid, one of them or their friends or relatives falls victim to one of the molesters, they will realize that in some small manner, they helped perpetuate the problem; that by taking a different course of action, they might have prevented it from happening.

Congratulations. You helped the molesters win yesterday.

The Wolf

P.S. I don't normally do link dumps. But this is an important matter and I think we need as many voices as we can get. So here are others who have spoken up on the matter. Do you have a post about it too? Let me know and I will link to it.

Rabbi Horowitz
Rabbi Horowitz again
Life Of Rubin
Gil Student
Zach Kessin
Pesky Settler
Hershel Tzig
Back of the Hill
Failed Messiah
Rabbi Harry Maryles
Lion of Zion
Life (Concerned Jewgirl)


Anonymous said...

This really burns my fritters.People have time to come up with all kinds of ridiculous chumras and other nareshkeiten, but when it comes to really urgent issues such as child molesters in yeshivot and schules(and we know they are there,all right),few are willing to answer the bell.I guess the expression "tuchus of'n tisch" is taken literally by these sick people.Those who remain silent and allow this to go on will have to answer for it somewhere down the line as well.They may not even have to wait until they stand before the Beis Din shel Emes.Wait till their kids or grandchildren come home crying.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when the cowards at will mention this story?

Anonymous said...

Failed Messiah picked it up too.

Anonymous said...

Of course Failed Messiah picked it up. He's salivating at the thought of all this.
Listen people.... this is how it is in the Days before Moshiach. Nothing is right anymore.
yasher koach to Rabbi Twerski for at least TRYING and bringing this issue into the public arena.
Rabbi Twerski has now become a victim himself. How ironic and how very sad.
This is what we do to good people, we destroy them. Shame on all the other rabbbis who did not stand by him and defend him. Shame on all of you. you will be judged in Shamayim for this.

ProfK said...

Yes Wolf, I posted on this issue, but I'm honest enough to admit that some people are really not going to like a solution I offer. Talk about this issue has gone on for years, and nothing has changed. It's like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Yes, in the future, and I hope the near future, a reasoned approach to this problem will have to be implemented. And should our precious children have to wait in abject misery until we finally find a way to get that approach accepted? The snake has bitten you, and more than once, and it is preparing to bite you again. Do you first go to consult an exterminator and put into place a policy that will keep snakes out, or do you stomp on the present snake first and render it harmless and then make sure that no more snakes are going to come for you?

Anonymous said...

Greatness was thrust on Rabbi BT and he turned tail and headed for the hills.

Just goes to show you that greatness is not for just anyone.

Lion of Zion said...


שבת שלום


"Of course Failed Messiah picked it up. He's salivating at the thought of all this."



"Greatness was thrust on Rabbi BT and he turned tail and headed for the hills."

how about you drop your sanctimonious anonymity and put your own family on the line before making a comment like that.

Pesky Settler said...

I blogged about this... but the gist of it is:

In my opinion, Hikind went about this the wrong way. See, he didn't use any of the popular key words that seems to get much of the Jewish community up in arms and demanding action.

He didn't use the word 'crisis'. He didn't use the word 'tznius'.

See, if Mr. Hikind had said 'we're setting up a task force to deal with the tznius crisis in our schools, camps and shuls', he would have had Jerusalem and Lakewood and Monsey plastered with Kol Korehs supporting his valiant effort.

Zach Kessin said...

What needs to happen is that parents have to go the Roshei Yeshvot of their children's schools and say "Rabbi What are you going to do about this problem? What is in place in your school to make sure that this is stopped and that if my child is abused that the person who did it will go to jail, And if you don't have an acceptable program in place in 7 days I am taking my kid out of your school and sending him to the public school"

You can count on the public school to take teacher abuse really very seriously.

Commenter Abbi said...

zach, unfortunately, you're thinking like an MO, when that's a particularly unchareidi response. They would never do that, as even the threat would dash any shidduch hopes for 3 generations to come, at least.

Let the molesting continue, as long as no shidduchim are ruined. I think that's the sickest part of the whole story.

Anonymous said...

A Sordid Lawsuit Shakes the Satmar Chasidic world .

Brooklyn N.Y. Lezer ( Louis ) Kestenbaum chairman of the ODA in Williamsburg Brooklyn NY resigned from the ODA soon after settling a lawsuit filed in May in U.S. District Court for the District of Florida for an undisclosed sum alleging he had a sexual relationship with a minor, Joel Kestnbaum the son of Louis kestenbaum will become chairman of the ODA.