On Sunday, May 20, 2012 at Citifield in New York, there will be an asifa [gathering] (no women allowed) led by the leaders of various and varying sects of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. I won’t bog you down with too many details, but its purpose is to enforce a ban on the Internet and other modern communication technologies like iPhones for Orthodox Jews. One Rabbi even wants to make Jews who would dare to use the Internet feel like “second-class citizens in Klal Yisroel. [Jewish nation]” Ostensibly, one of the chief reasons given by these Rabbis for these bans is protecting children (few people disagree on the need to prevent kids from harm, after all.) The horrible irony in it all is that the Gedolei Yisroel [“Great ones of Israel – term for Ultra Orthodox leaders] are the very men complicit in:
- Covering up sexual crimes against children.
- Protecting the rapists and abusers and commanding those with knowledge of the crimes to remain silent or face repercussions.
- Blaming the victims, ruining their shidduch [marriage] prospects and expelling them from Yeshivot.
- Silent (but occasionally explicit) condoning of campaigns of intimidation and violence against those victims and their families who refuse silence and identify or press charges against their tormentors.
How dare they presume the moral authority to lecture anyone on protecting children? With all due respect, learned Rabbis: YOU are the real danger to children, not the Internet. The Internet has, in fact, shown the world that the Emperor has no clothes; your complicity in protecting serial-rapists, arsonists, abusive husbands and sadists is now public knowledge. But instead of fighting the real menaces to children, you attack the medium which brings such stories to light.
Shame on you, Rabbis. Shame.
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