The exciting news has been spreading like wildfire over the past few days: over 100 rabbis signed a paper that says that information about child (sex?) abuse should be reported directly to the civil authorities instead of asking a rabbi first.
See here for images of the declaration.
The frum community is holding its collective breath to see whether these rabbis will be put in cherem by Agudah. If they’re not put in cherem, and if Agudah and the Moetzes Gedoilei Hatorah don’t issue a counter letter reminding the community that Da’as Torah is against protecting frum children from frum molesters then the frum community will finally be able to hold its head up, proud that it has finally reached the moral level of the secular world and only a few years behind the Catholic church!
With the frum world getting darker and darker relative to the outside world, it has become hard to keep the outside light from shining in. The frum world had to take radical action to stem the ever increasing numbers of children, and increasingly adults too, going OTD, even if it means creating a Da’as Torah war. Da’as Torah wars are confusing to the average baalabus, one Da’as Torah says to report molesters to the local rov while another Da’as Torah says to go to the police; there’s a grave danger that baalebatim might start investigating on their own what the Torah says, and baalebatim who learn Torah without Da’as Torah supervision can cause all kids of problems…
It’s also very confusing when, in an attempt to be a light unto the nations, the frum community has insisted that we worry more about molesters than children, that we report molesters to rabbis who can’t investigate and can’t do anything even if they could investigate and that we report non-Jewish molesters to the police but not Jewish ones. No one saw that as shining a light.
But now these 107 brave rabbonim have taken a stand, they will be a shining light – albeit a tail light running after example set for them by the secular world. The only ones following their light, hopefully, will be the rest of the rabbis who were left in darkness.
The gemarah says ayn chavish matir atzmo m’bais asurim, a prisoner cannot free themselves from prison.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of this gemarah while reading this article in The Forward where Rachel Wizenfeld, who has no say in the matter, defended the Orthodox ban on women rabbis.
The last time I was reminded of this gemarah was when a Belzer woman from London defended the ban on women’s driving in her community. I was, like, lady nobody asked you whether you agree with this ban, you’re the one being banned.
But this is not the main reason I agree with Rachel Wizenfeld. I mostly agree with her because it’s much better for me to keep women in their girls clubs so they have no idea how much fun we have at shul in the kiddush club. The main reason women are kept behind the mechitza instead of inside it or on the pulpit is so that they think their husbands are sitting and listening nicely to the rav’s speech, while in reality most of the shul is chilling in the kitchen.
Also, as long as women don’t become rabbis because they believe they’re supposed to be in the kitchen or bathing the kids; why would I complain?
I’m not complaining. Rachel and all her buddies are welcome to have their girls clubs. Heck, I’m joining their shul and introducing my wife to them.
Increasing the cut of the bris is an ancient segulah for refuah sheleima. Normally the sick person would do it themselves like Avraham Avinu, but since this particular individual has done much so much for the klal, the Skulene Rebbe wants to use this opportunity to add 100 names to his email list, because that will be a zechus for the choleh, so he’s asking the public to volunteer their shmaisers for shortening.
When I was in Telz yeshiva there was a story told about Rabbi Eizik Ausband. It was said that as a young man in Telshe, Lithuania, he had thrown a moiser into river and drowned him. One brash bochur asked him whether the story was true and he confirmed that it was. The moiser in question had supposedly reported tax evaders to the government and that earned him the death penalty from those righteous Jews.
Hear the rosh yeshiva tell the story here:
What does one do when someone in their community (whom they know to be absolutely innocent) is accused by a frum kid of being a molester?
If it were up to me? I’d say throw the kid into the river! You cannot tolerate a moiser in your community. Didn’t Agudas Yisroel Pasken that reporting child molesters to the goyishe authorities is mesirah? Nu! What else do you need? Throw him in the river! [click to continue…]
The Shomer Shabbos of Woodbourne where you can find a minyan and leftovers any time of day
I want to talk about the Catskills, I want to tell you how terrible the kosher food is here and how restaurant owner, employees and patrons all stare at you if you’re not wearing a yarmulke, I want to tell you what horrendous drivers chassidim and yeshiva bochurim are. Take that back, not only yeshiva bochurim who just got their licenses, anyone with NJ plates is a terrible drive in the Catskills, but the Passaic ones are a little better than the Lakewooders.
I’m not really equipped to talk about these things, though, because I rarely visit kosher restaurants in the Catskills and when I do, I do my best to erase the experience from my memory as quickly as possible, it’s really traumatic. So instead I’ll share some awesome Heshy posts on these topics from the archives. Check ’em out.
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I love the feeling of getting a Facebook notification that says “Yankel Shmerel has added you to the group…..”, it’s such an awesome feeling. There’s a new group in the Facebookisphere, a group devoted to solving one specific problem, everyone in there is devoted to the same cause!
This is the promise of social media, the ability to bring together thousands of people who, in their daily lives may find themselves geographically, politically, philosophically and theologically far apart, but on one issue they unite, they find each other in Tahrir Square through shared hashtags, they find themselves fighting for better treatment of women in orthodoxy in a Facebook group or they find themselves debating whether Yiddishkeit should have a question mark after itself or not; no seriously, there’s a group devoted to that too. [click to continue…]
Guest post by Dov F
JERUSALEM—Aish Hatorah, the world’s leading kiruv organization, is suing the gay pride stabber and the settler arsonists, sources say.
A spokesman for the organization explained, “Many of our seminars that took time and money to prepare are now falling apart due to the reckless acts of a few individuals.”
“Just because some obscure, irrelevant bible verses talk about killing homosexuals or smashing babies’ heads against rocks doesn’t mean we, as the standard bearer of an enlightened Judaism, should have to deal with them,” he added.
“We rely heavily on the well-established fact that Judaism has always been, and necessarily is a tolerant religion—a cut above the rest, so to speak. The actions of these individuals will force us to revamp our entire approach of selling the religion to the masses,” said one teacher at the organization’s flagship school, headquartered in Jerusalem.
He added, “those foolish individuals simply have no sense of business.”