Sexual abuse happens. It's not a good thing, and those that do it, should be punished to the full extent of the law.
But then you have the Ultra-Orthodox community, where not only is it not punished, but if the one who was abused says anything to authorities, THEY ARE THROWN OUT OF THE COMMUNITY?!
Now, who are we kidding, we've known about it for years, but when it makes the front page of the New York Times as it did yesterday (article here, which this post is based on), even the Ultra-Orthodox need to realize the problems.
To them, there is nothing worse than making a Chillul Hashem (Desecration of the Name of God), one of the reasons they keep the sexual abuse cases quiet. But now, not only are they making a Chillul Hashem, but their dirty laundry is getting aired to the public.
And then the Agudath Israel of America had to open their mouths...Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Executive VP, said: "You can destroy a person's life with a false report". Rabbi Zweibel also stated that observant Jews should not report allegations to the police unless permitted to do so by a rabbi.
For starters Rabbi Zweibel, what about the person whose life is being destroyed because they are getting molested week after week, but aren't allowed to say anything?
And second, I bet, if any of these things happened to you, or a family member (and God forbid that they should), you would NOT be asking a Rabbi what to do. You'd be on the phone to 9-1-1 without thinking twice about it.
I praise Justice Guston L. Reichbach, who after being presented with a case of a man abusing 14 year olds, was bombarded with letters saying that the abuser was a nice man, and not one letter about concern for the abused, stated: "“While the crimes the defendant stands convicted of are bad enough, what is even more troubling to the court is a communal attitude that seems to impose greater opprobrium on the victims than the perpetrator.”
Or what about when a 14 year old boy is given $20 to help move boxes, and then is taken to a motel, de-pants-ed, and masturbated. When the abuser was arrested, Rabbi Israel Hager, of Monsey NY, called the child's mother, and asked that she not press charges in court. And then they expelled the child from school, because she wouldn't drop the charges, and told her that if she protests the expulsion, they'd file false charges against her for child abuse.
Well Rabbi Hager, as I said before, I wouldn't wish this type of stuff on anyone, but if you were in the same situation, I can guarantee that you'd say something. And if you wouldn't say anything, and just let your child be masturbated by a stranger, well then, you don't deserve to have children, let alone the title of "Rabbi".
God bless Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, a strong advocate in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who was shunned by his community, yet still stands for what is right. He has lectures, available by phone, telling victims to call 9-1-1 with these sorts of issues, and accuse the Rabbis of silencing these cases. Because of him standing up for what is right; he was thrown out of his shul (synagogue), and had a full group of Rabbis (32 in total) and a Beis Din (Jewish Court of Law) sign an order against him, ostracizing him.
On the same side, we have Rabbi Tzvi Gluck, a worker at Our Place, in Brooklyn NY, who helps victims of such incidents get proper court attention. He said, and I agree with him fully: "If a guy in our community gets diagnosed with cancer, the whole community will come running to help them. But if someone comes out and says they were a victim of abuse, as a whole, the community looks at them and says, ‘Go jump in a lake.’ ”
It's time we all took a stand. As the United States Homeland Security uses as their slogan: "If you see something, say something". Sexual abuse in the Jewish community must end.
These people should no longer be allowed to stand, hiding, behind their Rabbis. They should all be in jail, getting anally raped by a large man named Bubba, and when they complain, will be told "Bubba wouldn't do such a thing. He's a nice guy."