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New York - Op-Ed: Agudath Israel and the Markey Bill: Financial Bankruptcy vs. Moral Bankruptcy

Published on: April 23, 2009 10:03 AM
By: OpEd By Dr. Asher Lipner, Ph.D
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 Dr. Asher Lipner, Ph.D [photo credit Hella Winston]New York - Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. The Markey legislation would extend the statute of limitations on both criminal and civil cases involving the sexual abuse of children, and it would open a one-year “window” durring which all past cases of abuse could be presented in court. It is being supported by both Orthodox assemblymen - Dov Hikind, who has become a champion of the rights of victims, and Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the Assembly, who has voted for it three times.  The benefits of allowing all victims of abuse to confront their abusers in court are best explained in Cordozo Law Professor Marci Hamilton’s book, Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect It’s Children.  Aside from giving survivors of sexual abuse a chance for justice, similar “window” legislation in two other states have helped society identify over 350 sexual predators who were unknown before the legislation.  The alternative bill that Aguda is presumably backing, which does not include such a window, is referred to by Ms. Hamilton as the “Hide the Predator Act”.

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In lockstep with the Catholic Church, their partners in fighting this much needed legislation, Agudah argues that allowing victims of all ages to sue molesters would put into jeopardy, not only the molesters themselves, but also any institution that knowingly or negligently harbored molesters.  This would constitute a potential drain on community resources, (since some important Jewish institutions will undoubtedly be implicated because of a long standing tradition of silencing victims in the community) especially at a time when the economy has hurt our institutions’ ability to do so much good for so many people.

I hope the Agudah reconsiders its misguided position and takes into consideration that on this issue, doing the right thing may actually pay dividends “both in this world and the next”.  Showing the proper compassion, integrity and sense of justice that the victims of sexual abuse deserve and parents of Jewish children demand, not only is the moral thing to do, but may actually serve to avert many a lawsuit in the long run. 

An article in the New York Times last year entitled “Doctors say ‘Sorry’ before ‘See you in court’” documented that when doctors were taught to no longer “deny and defend” but rather “disclose, apologize and offer fair compensation” malpractice suits were shown to drop by up to two thirds.  “Malpractice lawyers say that what often transforms a reasonable patient into an indignant plaintiff is less an error, than its concealment, and the victim’s concern that it will happen again.”

Regarding sexual abuse of children, we need look no further than to the recent scandal in the Catholic Church to learn what motivated so many victims of clergy abuse to sue their perpetrators and the institutions that enabled them.  Mary Gayle Frawley-O’dea, a psychoanalyst and expert both on sexual abuse and on the Church scandal, has written two books on the dynamics and the history that went into the eventual lawsuits that have cost the church so far upwards of three billion dollars in settlement payouts.  She describes the horrors that victims of abuse were put through when they came forward about what happened to them, by a massive cover-up perpetrated by bishops more concerned with their church’s image than with children’s safety.  This evil reaction to the abus of children under their care was enabled by the arrogant assertion that “nobody would ever dare sue the Catholic Church.”  The tactics used by bishops to intimidate and harass victims who spoke up eventually did leave victims, quiet for decades, with no other choice but to sue. 

Unfortunately, some yeshivas and Orthodox institutions have acted similarly, and the behavior patterns of both leaderships are eerily similar. Who could forget the Satmar mother on the radio, explaining the extreme lengths that she and her son (who was molested in a Williamsburg yeshiva) went to, in order to have the matter redressed “Bederech Koovod”, (in a respectful and dignified manner) only to find themselves with no other recourse but to sue when the yeshiva reinstated the molesting rebbe to his classroom just days after the victim’s 23rd birthday when the statute of limittations goes into effect.  Likewise, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in his “Grand Jury Investigatin of the Church” that “In some cases, the Grand Jury finds that the diocese procrastinated for the sole purpose of making sure that the Civil and Ciminal Sttues of Limiation were no loonger applicable in the cases.”

In yet another Chillul Hashem (Desecration of G-d’s name), several claimants alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a rebbe of another yeshiva were forced to sue only after they first provided the yeshiva with a number of opportunities to do the right thing and protect the children.  The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response.  In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one “Halachic authority,” since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime.

Ironically, in the secular world, it has become de rigueur for prominent people who sexually abuse to be forced by societal pressure to come clean, apologize and enter treatment.  When a U.S. Congressman was caught sending illicit emails to underage pages that worked for him, he resigned in disgrace, publicly apologized and announced he would be getting professional help.  There were no lawsuits. 

A group of survivors of abuse by a rebbe in a well-known yeshiva, have involved me in trying to confront the yeshiva and ask its administration to take some concrete and serious action after the rebbe admitted to the abuse and was “retired”.  They want the community to be notified of the danger posed by the rabbi, that he get sent for psychiatric treatment, that the yeshiva reach out to any unknown victims, and that they institute reasonable safety precautions that would protect against the same kind of tragedy happening in the future. 

What truly shocked me was that a friend of mine asked me “Why would they want to take down an institution that has taught Torah for so many years?” Au contraire; if anything, the love and appreciation that these men have as alumni of this yeshiva, is expressed in their sincere desire to make it a safe place for students to learn.  Perhaps this friend was projecting his own feelings onto the victims, thinking that revenge is what he would want to do if it was his child who had been molested.  Indeed, perhaps those owners of Yeshivas on the Moetzes who are afraid of lawsuits are also projecting the desire for punishmentonto victims, because of their own guilty feelings.  The victims, however, rather than wishing for the “taking down” of the yeshiva would gladly want it to continue teaching Torah under the same management with two important modifications: No more molesting and no more covering up.

Make no mistake, by the way; the leadership crisis is not limited to the Chareidi or the “Yeshiva World.”  A prominent modern orthodox youth group associated with the Orthodox Union, was found to have covered up for years for a rabbi who abused dozens of teen-agers, both boys and girls, under his care until the scandal was exposed in the pages of a non-Orthodox newspaper.  The rabbi-predator eventually went to jail, but only after years of the OU’s rebuffing in the strongest means possible, any attempts by survivors to have him removed from proximity to children.  Until this day, almost ten years later, the OU has yet to offer a public apology, to publish the findings of the independent investigation it paid community money to conduct, or most importantly, to warn Jewish parents of the danger this rabbi, now out of jail and still professing his innocence, poses for children.  However, the OU has at least, courageously joined the RCA and the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children in supporting the Markey legislation showing more concern for children than for the danger of potential lawsuits against its “interests”.  Survivors of clergy abuse under the OU will undoubtedly feel indebted to them for supporting the survivors’ efforts at gaining justice, at some risk of harm to themselves. 

The OU is aware that most victims have proven to want nothing other than to have the perpetrators removed from harming children, and to have institutions act responsibly by creating safety measures and accountability.  To be sure, an apology and admission of negligence on the part of the institution would obviously be welcomed as well.  Like with all Tshuvah, our community establishment needs to admit, be contrite for and stop the sinful behavior and then ask forgiveness from the victims it has so terribly harmed.

However, literally adding insult to injury, victims who have respectfully and courageously come forward, have been bullied, intimidated, vilified and marginalized.  In one case, a concerned parent was summoned himself by a prominent Rosh Yeshivah (dean) to a beys din for daring to spread “false rumors” about the molester!  This kind of reaction, perpetrated on a traumatized victim of abuse is often more painful than the actual abuse itself.  As an example, when the Vietnam veterans returned home, not as welcome heroes, but as scorned and shunned criminals, the levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reached heights that no other war veterans could ever match.  Picture what a Holocaust survivor feels like when they hear someone denying or minimizing their trauma. 

Alternatively, while there is no amount of apologizing or even monetary compensation that can give a survivor back what was taken from him or her, the validation and support of the community can go a long, long way towards healing the hurt, and thereby lessening the anger and need for justice.  As one Chassidic adult survivor explained, if he had been mugged and beaten on the street, his warm caring community would have rushed to his aide with support, concern and sympathy.  But since he was victimized by a rabbi in a horrific sexual attack, when he told people his “dirty” secret, it was he and not the abuser who was disdained.  Through my work with victims, I know of so many cases of girls and boys who were literally expelled from Yeshivas for the crime of “being molested”.  The depth of the trauma lies not so much in the act of abuse (although that is traumatic enough), but in the aquiescence of people in the victim’s environment. 

Just as with medical malpractice, most people will not sue if the Jewish establishment will do the right thing and side with the victims and not against them; support Markey, admit the mistakes of the past, acknowledge the pain of the victims, reach out to them to support them, and work to ensure children’s safety.  This must include encouraging witnesses and victims to report to law enforcement authorities all criminal sexual behavior, just as Halachic authorities like Rav Elyashiv have mandated us to do.  “If you see something, say something.”  Our rabbinic leadership should also immediately warn parents not to send their children to preschools, camps or schools that do not have at the very minimum a safety plan in place.  Most overnight camps have begun to implement these programs but our schools lag far behind.  Aguda needs to endorse not only the idea of mandated fingerprinting and background checks in all Jewish schools, but mandated reporting laws, mandated safety plans, mandatory firing of a teacher who molests even once, and the creation of our own registry available to schools and to parents of teachers who have been found to have acted inappropriately towards children.  This would at least catch us up to the bare minimum of safety required in all public schools in New York. 

The current position of Agudas Yisroel that goes against the opinion of virtually every single child safety group in the country, has retraumatized many of the victims it claims it cares so much about.  After first being molested, then being threatened, intimidated and otherwise pressured to keep quiet for so many years by rabbis and yeshivas, in an attempt to cover up the community’s ills, now having the “Gedolim” attempt to deny them their day in court is something that many victims will not soon forget.  Trauma, as the Catholic Church has found out, has a paradoxical effect on the human mind.  On the one hand, victims of interpersonal trauma are often left without the ability to immediately recall what happened to them.  The mind defends against the incredible overwhelming pain by repressing, “splitting off” or “dissociating” these memories.  On the other hand, deep inside the brain the barbaric acts are seared into the neural pathways, making them impossible to forget.

The brazen placement of the value of community assets over the value of chidren’s safety is all the more shocking since it runs contrary to the halacha on statutes of limitations as expressed by the Agudah’s own Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, when he avised students who alleged they were molested by Rabbi Mattis Weinberg to sue him in Israel because Rabbi Kaminetsky “did not know that there was such a thing in halacha” as a “statute of limitations.”  (See The Foreward , September 19, 2003).  The Aguda’s grave mistake in priorities lies in their claim that yeshivas, shuls and summer camps are “the very lifeblood of the community,” when all Jews know that it is our children who are our lifeblood and nothing else.  It is they who the Chosen people were required to offer as collateral when we accepted the Torah, according to the Medrash, to guarantee that we will remain worthy of our covenant with G-d.  And it is their very breath that keeps the universe in existence according to the famous Talmudic statement. 

The Agudah’s thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty, it doesn’t make good economic sense.  If anti-semites would want to stir up victims of abuse and hurt them so bad that they would feel compelled to sue Jewish institutions, they could not have devised a better way to do it than what Agudah has done with their pronouncement.  In the end, nobody can guarantee that if the Child Victims Act passes, no yeshiva or institution will be “taken to the cleaners”, especially in the more egregious cases of willful covering up of the molestation of innocent Jewish children.  But when I pointed this out to a friend who is an adult survivor of abuse, and expressed concern that some yeshivas of this type may be forced into bankruptcy, he wisely told me not to worry, explaining that such institutions “are already bankrupt - morally.”


Asher Lipner, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies of Adelphi University.  He completed his formal internship training at Harvard Medical School and is a NYS certified school psychologist.  Asher also has Smicha (Rabbinical Ordination) from Bes Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ. He has worked for the past 5 years in the Orthodox Jewish community with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, and serves as the Vice President of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children.



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Read Comments (91)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:17 AM Shmuel Says:

Is it me or is Agudath Israel not backing this bill because it would drain the mosdos of money

2

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:15 AM Anonymous Says:

I think the title says it all. This is an excellent editorial. It's sad that so many members of the orthodox establishment, just like the catholic church, have such a tin ear when it comes to this issue. So much of religion is about taking responsibility and seeking forgiveness, growth and change , but we've seen far too little of that in connection with these issues.

3

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:28 AM Anonymous Says:

unbeliveable cover up and then cover up some more they are just protecting themselves and each other when will these organiseations face the truth otherwise they are only political organizations and not religious

4

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:25 AM Anonymous Says:

who cares what the aguda thinks . Pass the law and force them to comply! . Did anyone ask the aguda about the megan law before it was passed? Why arent we seeing signatures of this so called rabbonim who are backing them up/??

5

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:24 AM Anonymous Says:

All the Agudah wnats is to add a stipulation to the bill that will not allow suing the institution which these acts accured. Whats wrong with this? The above whole article does not mention this. The agudah does support extending the statute to face and sue the abuser.

6

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Now that their great sage and spokesman has had time to pull his foot out of his mouth from the Madoff defense fiasco (or at least changed feet, to write that half-witted apology) he can write an article about respecting Mondrowitz and Kolko for keeping the crim going for so many years and against Hikind for just doing what he is supposed to do.

There is good news in all of this though. If the crew that got us into this mess by hiding and denying for forty years is all the leadership we have left the geula shelaima cannot be far behind.

7

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm curious as to why people think that the bankruptcy of yeshivas and mosdos that are deservedly sued is necessarily a bad thing. Let's for a moment think through what would actually happen after the bankruptcy of a large yeshiva. Contrary to what many people seem to be implying, talmidim are very unlikely to find themselves on the street.

Keep in mind that the yeshiva as an entity is really just a corporate form. None of the staff and almost none of the yeshiva management would face financial risk unless they are personally implicated. How long do you think it would take before another yeshiva, under a new name, purchases the building and assets of the old entity, re-hires most of the staff and retains the old hashkafa and most of the students (with a cleaner financial slate). Not long at all, I think.

In fact, the only long-term impact would likely be the message: that no one is immune when they fail to protect children under their charge, even a respected mosid. That, I'm sure, would not be a bad thing.

8

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM a reader Says:

yashar koach to dr. lipner. the aguda should have followed the path he outlines many years ago.
sadly, the aguda has chosen to go down kicking and screaming. we are now witnessing the last gasps of this organization. its now only a matter of time.

9

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

10

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM SHEA Says:

Rabbi Lipner you're my hero! it's about time somebody stands up for the truth
I was unfortunetaly molested in a local yeshiva in boro park 18 years ago. the pain is still not going away... thanks ashrecha!

11

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:46 AM Jimmy37 Says:

"Agudah argues that allowing victims of all ages to sue molesters would put into jeopardy, not only the molesters themselves, but also any institution that knowingly or negligently harbored molesters." AND THIS IS A BAD THING??

I want want to see the real logic of this argument, not this phony and irrelevant "it'll cost money" argument. This is a Chillul Hashem because we have an opinion looking for justification.

12

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

I agree 100% with # 11 especially in public one should not disagree with our gedolim.

13

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:43 AM Anonymous Says:

well written However Rabbi Elyashiv who does hold you are aloud to go to authorities to file criminal charges holds clearly you are not aloud to go to secular court to file a lawsuit.

14

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:09 AM Shmuel Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

All the Agudah wnats is to add a stipulation to the bill that will not allow suing the institution which these acts accured. Whats wrong with this? The above whole article does not mention this. The agudah does support extending the statute to face and sue the abuser.

If an institution was told about an issue and did nothing about it they should be sued

15

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:03 AM PMO Says:

It is emotionally devastating to watch an organization built by some of the greatest gedolim in recent history collapse under its own corrupt weight.

Agudath Israel was founded with such pure motives by such gedolim, and to see this is beyond painful. The founders and the tzadikim who built it would be so ashamed to see what has happened here.

Now, in our time, AI has shown itself to be an morally bankrupt, empty, worthless, corrupt institution that has run out of places to hide all the skeletons in its closet. They have had the opportunity to come clean about their involvement in perpetuating child molestation, rape and other abuse and they did NOTHING. They had the chance to admit mistakes and jump on the bandwagon to correct things, and they did NOTHING. They continue to defend and protect child rapists at the expense of our Torah and our children's souls.

While I know that not every Rav affiliated with AI is morally corrupt, I am concerned that many do not speak out. There is no bigger chillul H" than this. Yes, names will become public. Yes, people's families will be impacted. Yes, people will go to prison. But once we get through this part... once we find these animals and get them away from our children... we can move forward with better oversight and better protections in place... but it MUST start here... it MUST start with truth and honesty which have always been our strongest weapon against evil.

i pray that H" will help the rabbonim who have not spoken up but want to. H" should give them the strength to step out on this most frightening limb with the victims... to look into their eyes and feel their pain... feel their fear... feel their anger... then imagine how many more will have to feel these things because of inaction.... and then speak up.

I pray that H" gives incredible strength to every single one of the victims and those who fight alongside them to protect and defend our Torah and our children. This was part of His plan. You are part of His plan.


16

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:55 AM Rippin Pinchas Says:

A lot of great points.

However, he contradicts himself. The author writes: supporting the Markey legislation showing more concern for children than for the danger of potential lawsuits against its "interests".

What is the purpose of an elementary or high school? Not to give people jobs. It is for the children. Yes there has to be learning etc. When I was in Yeshiva the Rosh Yeshiva always made the point that the Yeshiva is for the bochurim. Obviously, other things come with that. But the goal is for the children. Therefore, we have to balance out the problems between having a school, which is a need for children, and protecting them from sexual predators, which is a need for children.

The next step is what is the bottom line. The Markey bill would potentially destroy something for our children while at the same time protecting our children. As a result, we should work to defeat the bill. Not because we want to throw our children to the wolves. Rather, because the alternative does not work

17

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:54 AM ishemes Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

All the Agudah wnats is to add a stipulation to the bill that will not allow suing the institution which these acts accured. Whats wrong with this? The above whole article does not mention this. The agudah does support extending the statute to face and sue the abuser.

What's wrong??? Are you out of your mind??? These "institutions who knew and did nothing are just as guilty?? If they go bankrupt then good riddence!!! They should not be in the Yeshiva business. By their inaction and coverups they have forfitted their rights to educate our children long ago.

18

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

This is the same Agudah that didnt allow thier Yeshivas to protest in Dc a few years ago when the whole Orthodox Jewish world wemt. Bottom line, they are not an Agudah - they stand only for themselves. Moshe Sherer is turning over in his grave.

19

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:50 AM was abused Says:

Feh. Shame on the Agudah.

20

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

If the Agudah could be sued for taking this position would they protect the guilty.
They dont seem to get it, there is an epedimic of mental health issues that has perpetuated generations of children whos parental skills and atachment issues have been left unattended. This is about saving foundations not dismantling them.
The Agudah has allways protected the money flow in leu of protecting the community.
Their charter does not address community needs. Perhaps one should realize the Agudah purpose is to perpetuate its own existance. Its primary goal is to stay in business collect monies from the government, distribute to institutions. Their position on this issue is about self preservation.

21

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

22

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:48 AM ishemes Says:

Yasher koach for a well written article. It's about time someone has the courage to "take on" the Agudah. The Agudah has co-oped many issues in the guise that they are the "moral authority" for klal yisroel. They are nothing more then maybe a social service organization serving no ones interests but perhaps their own selfish ones.

23

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:17 AM think Says:

B-4 anyone bashes why not ask the people you want to bash in a honorabel way why they say as they do as if your trying to understand?

25

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

If the employer knew that abuse was going on, and misrepresented to parents that the school was safe for the kids, that is fraud. Such an employer would seem to be liable for damages.

26

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

All the Agudah wnats is to add a stipulation to the bill that will not allow suing the institution which these acts accured. Whats wrong with this? The above whole article does not mention this. The agudah does support extending the statute to face and sue the abuser.

You are missing the point. In most cases, the school knew of the abuse and covered it up, and they have deeper pockets. Making them liable would stop future coverups

27

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

We are talking civil, not criminal penalties. And yes, and employer can be sued for sexual harrassment by infilicted by some of their employees on others. The Catholic Church was warned about molestation issues in the 1950's. It was ignored and now they are paying for it. Unfortunately, the Gedolim also ignored the issue and now may have to pay as well

28

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

I agree 100% with # 11 especially in public one should not disagree with our gedolim.

We must disagree, publicly, when they are blinded by money and cause terrible pain and chillul hashem. In Yidishkeit we follow the torah and worship the Rebono Shel Olam, not fallable individuals, as great as they may be (though not intended as a direct comparison to our situation, one needs only to look to Pinchas, who stood up for what was right, and Zimri, who was a gadol but was wrong).

29

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM Sherree Says:

Kudos Asher!!!! I sent "our" reply to the Agudah's statement signed by both of us and a few others to ALL the Jewish newspapers last night. I received a note of chizuk from the Yated, who obviously can't print it, but it was nice to get the response none-the-less.

No one else responded personally so we will have to wait and watch the papers to see what happens. If our own yiddishe chevra are not courageous enough to print a response to the the Agudah we have no choice but to answer them in the goyish press. Of course I would rather not go that route and it pains me to do so, but it also pains me that the entire velt assumes that the Agudah speaks for ALL religious Jews and their word is G-d's word which it isn't. G-d's word is the Torah and let's not forget it.

It also pains me that they would once again choose to "honor" over sheer "decency" which is not a Torah concept because the Torah warns us to run away from honor.

They are also giving false testimony when they flood the media with scare tactics that the current parent body will be burdened with financial ruin defending the institutions with their own money.

At the very least they should be at work quietly removing or retireing these pedophiles from action.

As far as disgracing the Motzos Gedolos, it is these pedophiles and the Agudah and all others who keep protecting them, allowing their numbers to grow who are a constant disgrace to the humble, innocent and honorable members of the Mosttzos Gedolos.

30

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM mark meyer Says:

kudos to Dr lippner on a well written policy.............my rosh yeshiva has told me when there is a danger to ones life you must go to the authorities with out hesitation.it seems that david zweibel and the moron shafran who thinks madoff is a hero have convinced the moetzes to bash the markey bill.Dr lippner and the rabbimical council of america and the o.u should request a meeting with the power behind and ask the to reverse their decision, this is one on the saddest days in the agudas history .

Demand the rsignation of zwebel and shafran who have continusally obstructed the saving of our hurt kids

31

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:58 AM Enough is enough Says:

To #9 and #11 - It is about time these "Gedoilim" started acted like the leaders they should have been for the last 20+ years. The only reason these Rabonim are able to ignore what has been going on and allow for cover ups and intimidations is the "G-D like status" that is bestowed upon them by the "Yeshive Velt". The term "Daas Torah" has been so abused lately and the term "Gadol" aint what it used to be. The disingenuous statement put forth by the Agudah and their enablers constitutes a Chillul Hashem of the highest magnitude.

32

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:39 AM Let's hear the other side Says:

Doctor Lipner has presented a one sided polemic about this legislation which has some very good points. However, I am taken aback by his sweeping condemnation of the Moetzes and his constant linkage of the Orthodox problem and the Catholic problem which are totally dissimilar in scope.

Any rational person that is not biased or a hater of Aguda will agree that at least some of the members of the Moetzes are straight and upstanding individuals and would brook no twisting of moral issues for the sake of financial issues.

The only fair way to judge this issue would be to hear a response from Aguda which explains their position. Jumping to conclusions based on this article alone is unfair and dishonest.

Just as side point, I learned in Lakewood and it's a chidush to me that Lakewood is granting smicha.

33

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:51 AM Anonymous Says:

"The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime."

Which Rav held "since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime"???

They used this as an excuse. The internet was not around when this "ruling"came out. So they figured no one would ever know or believe them. Now the internet has come out and the rest is history. How sad.

34

 Apr 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM Zev Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

There are many precedents you are responsible for the damages of your cow and for a pit etc. That said there may be a need for a cap on damages in order not to bankrupt the frum community which does not have as much money as the Catholic Church - Madoff and the recession have taken much of what was there. This could be done with well selected batai din or a fund for victims much like the environmental funds,

35

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Now that their great sage and spokesman has had time to pull his foot out of his mouth from the Madoff defense fiasco (or at least changed feet, to write that half-witted apology) he can write an article about respecting Mondrowitz and Kolko for keeping the crim going for so many years and against Hikind for just doing what he is supposed to do.

There is good news in all of this though. If the crew that got us into this mess by hiding and denying for forty years is all the leadership we have left the geula shelaima cannot be far behind.

amen brother. you said it best

36

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

"The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime."

Which Rav held "since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime"???

They used this as an excuse. The internet was not around when this "ruling"came out. So they figured no one would ever know or believe them. Now the internet has come out and the rest is history. How sad.

Rav Scheinberg. You need to read up about this a little more often to know who the players are.

37

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM Agent Emess Says:

Can we get the names of the Moetzes memebers who call the Agudahs policys? Could they by any chance be the heads of the very yeshivas that could get sued here???.... DUH!!!!!!!

38

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:37 PM Agent Emess! Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

EHH? If the employer , in this case the yeshiva, knowingly allowed the perpetrator to remain? And if its a whole new administarion today, then the courts themselves would dismiss the case,, no?

39

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:18 PM They are all "In Bed Together" Says:

Agudah and the people it purports to "consult" are all in bed together on this, where one hand washes then other.

So called "gedolim" can all be implemented in the decades long cover-ups not to expose Child Molesters.

It doesn't sound nice to say this but it's true that the decades long IGNORING CHILD MOLESTERS in Yeshivos was sanctioned, encouraged and approved by people associated with Aguda and their so called "Gedolim".

Agudah is just covering their own back.

40

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Its sad that we had 2 lose so many kids for people 2 start waking up!!

41

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:34 PM The Gemara Says It All Says:

The Gemara predicted that Rabbonim today would protect Rapists and Child Molesters when the told us of the signs which will happen right before Moshiach comes.

Pney Hador Kipney Hakelev. The Pney Hador is like "Pney Hakelev".

Nearim Pney Zkeinim Yalbinu - Child Molesters and their Victims will point a finger at the so called Big "Zkeinim" who enabled them to continue unchecked and continue to protect them til this day.

And of course that our holly places will be converted to Beis Znus.

Could they have been any more accurate describing what our generation looks like?

42

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:33 PM moshe Says:

Reply to #9  
deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

deepthinker? you should change your name to very shallow thinker. you are such an am haaretz. go ahead keep on living in your little cave. you sounfd like a perfect candidate for the Moetzes. I heard thee is an opening available

43

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:25 PM Abuse of Rabbinical Power Says:

Reply to #37  
Agent Emess Says:

Can we get the names of the Moetzes memebers who call the Agudahs policys? Could they by any chance be the heads of the very yeshivas that could get sued here???.... DUH!!!!!!!

# 37 said: Could they by any chance be the heads of the very yeshivas that could get sued here???.... DUH!!!!!!!”

Actually it's not a question of "could they be".

We all know they are in this neck deep and if the can't continue the cover-up, they will all be lynched for enabling the cover up until now under the so called shield of supposed "daas Torah".

44

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:57 PM Dovid Says:

And how does the school defend itself if they are innocent 10 or 20 years later. People move, witnesses are gone emories fad. There is a reason for the statute of limitations - there must be some fairness for the defendant too- believe it or not some are innocent.

45

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Agent Emess Says:

Can we get the names of the Moetzes memebers who call the Agudahs policys? Could they by any chance be the heads of the very yeshivas that could get sued here???.... DUH!!!!!!!

Are you insinuating that these gedolim are noigeah b'davar and therefore not allowed to give a p'sak on this issue? I don't believe that the Moetzes Gedola Hatorah would be involved in such halachacli treif actions. Bite your tongue young man.

46

 Apr 23, 2009 at 12:51 PM frada Says:

Yasher koach Dr.Lipner for a well written ,superb response to Agudah.We are lucky to have someone like you fighting for the victims.

47

 Apr 23, 2009 at 01:51 PM Myth Says:

Reply to #44  
Dovid Says:

And how does the school defend itself if they are innocent 10 or 20 years later. People move, witnesses are gone emories fad. There is a reason for the statute of limitations - there must be some fairness for the defendant too- believe it or not some are innocent.

#44 asks how can the innocent defend it's self if it's 10 or 20 years later and witnesses are gone.

You are wrong. In fact the opposite is true.

As time passes it becomes harder and harder to prove anything as you say.

But the burden of proof is on the plaintiff and not just a small proof but the must provide rock solid 100% proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The "innocent" school does not have to provide any proof so they are not at any disadvantage.

48

 Apr 23, 2009 at 02:18 PM We Must Fight Back and Go After the "Big Ones" Says:

Now that we all know that Rabbinical Powers that be are protecting the school predators form prosecution. it's time to go after the real villain.

The lesson that Child Advocacy groups need to learn form this is that it's insufficient to throw the low level street predators in to Jail, unless we also throw in to jail the "Big Ones", the enablers who prevent their prosecution.

It's time that the Big Powers that be, who have helped protect molesters till now, are now exposed and prosecutors.

It's now clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that unless these very enablers, are all prosecuted. arrested, and subjected to Law Suits, then the Child Molestation in Yeshivos are now here to stay, for ever, Rachmono Litzlan, protected by the so caller "Big Ones".

49

 Apr 23, 2009 at 02:26 PM eitza geber Says:

Reply to #30  
mark meyer Says:

kudos to Dr lippner on a well written policy.............my rosh yeshiva has told me when there is a danger to ones life you must go to the authorities with out hesitation.it seems that david zweibel and the moron shafran who thinks madoff is a hero have convinced the moetzes to bash the markey bill.Dr lippner and the rabbimical council of america and the o.u should request a meeting with the power behind and ask the to reverse their decision, this is one on the saddest days in the agudas history .

Demand the rsignation of zwebel and shafran who have continusally obstructed the saving of our hurt kids

a bissele derech eretz toward dedicated public servants

50

 Apr 23, 2009 at 02:31 PM Do we really believe the Torah when it says "Hashochad Yeaver" Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

Are you insinuating that these gedolim are noigeah b'davar and therefore not allowed to give a p'sak on this issue? I don't believe that the Moetzes Gedola Hatorah would be involved in such halachacli treif actions. Bite your tongue young man.

Torah says that Hashochad Yeaver Einei Chachomim Veysalef Divrey Tzadikim.

This mean that there are people which Torahs Emes says eidus on them, that they are real Chachim and Real Tzadkim and yet Torah says that these true Tzadikim are blinded.

That's not me and you insulting them, this is what Toras Emes says about REAL Tzadikim and REAL Chachomim that they can be blinded and not see the truth when they are Nogeah Bedavar as in this case, OBVIOUSLY.

Me and You can see it because we are not blinded by Shochad but those who are Nogeah Bedavar are BLINDED and can't see simple stuff, which even other non-blind, small child, can see.

DO YOU BELIEVE THE TORAH, even when the Torah says something negative about someone you resepct very highly and look up to and against someone you think so very highly off?

51

 Apr 23, 2009 at 02:42 PM EinYid Says:

Reply to #9  
deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

I guess when it comes to this issue, you are more of a blind-non-thinker than a deepthinker, And please don't start the nonsense that we have to follow the rabunim on this issue. The RAbunim have done NOTHING of value to deal with this issue.

52

 Apr 23, 2009 at 02:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

All the Agudah wnats is to add a stipulation to the bill that will not allow suing the institution which these acts accured. Whats wrong with this? The above whole article does not mention this. The agudah does support extending the statute to face and sue the abuser.

What is wrong with this is the many Mosdos who knowingly swept this behaviour under the rug must be held accountable for their inactions.

53

 Apr 23, 2009 at 03:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #38  
Agent Emess! Says:

EHH? If the employer , in this case the yeshiva, knowingly allowed the perpetrator to remain? And if its a whole new administarion today, then the courts themselves would dismiss the case,, no?

The question was halachic precedent, not your boich sevoro. Where does it say an employer is responsible for the actions of his employee? Answer with chapter and verse please, no ranting and raving or sarcasm.
A victim does not have a right to compensation from the perpetrator either. He is morally bound to do his best to stop the molester being in a position to repeat his offenses but that is a case for the criminal courts, not the civil courts.
Lo sigzol.

54

 Apr 23, 2009 at 04:11 PM boich sevoro refuter Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

The question was halachic precedent, not your boich sevoro. Where does it say an employer is responsible for the actions of his employee? Answer with chapter and verse please, no ranting and raving or sarcasm.
A victim does not have a right to compensation from the perpetrator either. He is morally bound to do his best to stop the molester being in a position to repeat his offenses but that is a case for the criminal courts, not the civil courts.
Lo sigzol.

"lo taamod al dam reacha" by not stopping the abusers, and knowingly harboring these mentally ill criminals, these "employers" become a co-conspirators, and therefore have to face up to the punishment, one that appropriately fits the crime. And in most of these cover up cases, financial compensation should be just the beginning... May truth and justice prevail. G-d Bless all those who are truly working in the interest of the children and may G-d help all those who can't see beyond themselves and their ASSEtS. Good Shabbos!!

*it may be a "boich sevoro", but how deep is simplicity...

55

 Apr 23, 2009 at 04:57 PM Svara He Lama Li Kra Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

The question was halachic precedent, not your boich sevoro. Where does it say an employer is responsible for the actions of his employee? Answer with chapter and verse please, no ranting and raving or sarcasm.
A victim does not have a right to compensation from the perpetrator either. He is morally bound to do his best to stop the molester being in a position to repeat his offenses but that is a case for the criminal courts, not the civil courts.
Lo sigzol.

#54 is right
According to the Torah a Svara is actually more powerful proof than a befereshe posuk in chumash.

As the Gemara often asks "Svara He! Lama Li Kra?" if something is understood from svara there is no need even to bring a Pasuk as proof.

But if you need "proof" that the earth is round, here it is:

We are dealing here with Diney Nefoshos mamash.

When a Child is abused by his teachers in Yeshiva, it often results in him going away from Yiddishkite (Spiritual death), loosing all trust in his teachers and elders who teach him Yidishkite and often such children perpetrate such similar abuse on to others, when they get older and or on to themselves, going in to drugs or going in to clinical depression which often leads to death and suicide.

You may not be aware of "frum suicide" only because such things are hushed up in our communities because of the very great stigma and shame it causes the family, but it happens to children, victims of abuse, who are, as a result of abuse, tormented the rest of their life and it often results in ultimate use of drugs and ultimate suicide.

As such, the Hanhala who covers up such Child Abuse is Mischayev Benafshoy and guilty of murder of the yidishe childs neshamala and often ultimately even causing physical death of the child via drugs and suicide.

They have a din of RODEF and as such they Halachicaly deserve the DEATH PENALTY.

If a Hanahala gets slapped with a mere fine of a few hefty thousands of dollars, they are getting off the hook easy, compared to the death penalty they really deserve because they have the DIN RODEF.

Besides:

Torah says: Kol Mi Sheyesh Beyodo Limchos Veinoy Moche, Nikra Rasha and Hakolar Taloy Bezavaroy - this means that Torah considers the "Big Ones" who cover up on child abusers, to be EXACTLY "just as guilty" as the Rapist Himself.

Need any more "proof" or have you had enough?

56

 Apr 23, 2009 at 05:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
Let's hear the other side Says:

Doctor Lipner has presented a one sided polemic about this legislation which has some very good points. However, I am taken aback by his sweeping condemnation of the Moetzes and his constant linkage of the Orthodox problem and the Catholic problem which are totally dissimilar in scope.

Any rational person that is not biased or a hater of Aguda will agree that at least some of the members of the Moetzes are straight and upstanding individuals and would brook no twisting of moral issues for the sake of financial issues.

The only fair way to judge this issue would be to hear a response from Aguda which explains their position. Jumping to conclusions based on this article alone is unfair and dishonest.

Just as side point, I learned in Lakewood and it's a chidush to me that Lakewood is granting smicha.

What other side of the story? The pro-molestation side?

57

 Apr 23, 2009 at 06:35 PM glatt Says:

a distintion needs to be made between suing the institution and the administration/perpetrators the mosod is also a victim and it should not be sued

58

 Apr 23, 2009 at 06:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #44  
Dovid Says:

And how does the school defend itself if they are innocent 10 or 20 years later. People move, witnesses are gone emories fad. There is a reason for the statute of limitations - there must be some fairness for the defendant too- believe it or not some are innocent.

So if Mondrowitz avoided trial when all the pain he caused was fresh and hid for 20 years he should be off the hook???

59

 Apr 23, 2009 at 06:02 PM Someone who read what it says Says:

Aguda's concern is that lawsuit against institution will be able to take down the institution TODAY even though the responsible parties at the institutution left or were niftar YESTERDAY. Lo yumsu banim al avos, so long as current administration is not carrying on the cover-ups. The proposed law could easily be fixed to address this vital issue, but its backers choose not to make that fix because it is their goal to bring down institutions. There is anti-religiosity in the background here.
Suggest you read carefully the Aguda's statement, which Dr Lipner clearly did not or else he ignored it.
Deciding not to back this legislation does not mean a decision to protect wrong-doers.

60

 Apr 23, 2009 at 05:59 PM Anonymous Says:

I am convinced that this issue was not posed in full to Rav Elyashiv, shlita, the leading halachic authority--because they know he would have favored the Markey bill.

Instead, rabbis who have clearcut vested interests have supposedly been consulted by organizations that themselves have clearcut financial interests.

The result, of course, is a tremendous chillul Hashem, as the orthodox organizations appear to the whole world to be aiding and abetting child molestation.

Not that this necessarily upsets those who feel they have much to lose should this bill pass. They have true chutzpah, for the children, and for our whole community, it seems.

We are perhaps living in the pre-messianic time, and this is yet another sign--chutzpah will be raised.

This is chutzpah.

61

 Apr 23, 2009 at 05:53 PM The other side of the story Says:

Reply to #56  
Anonymous Says:

What other side of the story? The pro-molestation side?

No. A clearer explanation of why they are against not having a statute of limitations on the institutions is needed. The responsible Gedolim must have had a good reason for that and we should hear it.

There is also a lot of room for people that have it in for the institutions to make great trouble with false allegations. Are there sufficient safeguards against this so that only proven cases of abuse are used in regard to the schools?

62

 Apr 23, 2009 at 08:04 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #41  
The Gemara Says It All Says:

The Gemara predicted that Rabbonim today would protect Rapists and Child Molesters when the told us of the signs which will happen right before Moshiach comes.

Pney Hador Kipney Hakelev. The Pney Hador is like "Pney Hakelev".

Nearim Pney Zkeinim Yalbinu - Child Molesters and their Victims will point a finger at the so called Big "Zkeinim" who enabled them to continue unchecked and continue to protect them til this day.

And of course that our holly places will be converted to Beis Znus.

Could they have been any more accurate describing what our generation looks like?

That is quite interesting because there was a parent who was looking for guidance from the Rabbanim and was basically told that these things will happen before Moshiach comes. Duh????? Therefore?????? Where in the Torah does it say that the children then have to be the kaporas and we have to allow it? Is this what learning Gemarah is all about? Is this how we are supposed to apply it to everyday life?

In that case, since it says in the Gemara, that if plony crosses the field and kills plony the family of plony one is entitled to compensation in such and such a way. We just expect that to happen because it says so in the Gemara and we don't find a way for the unfortunate soul not to get killed?

Was this Rav saying "lets sacrifice these children in this way to bring Moshiach sooner? And these are the same Rabbonim that you beg to be mesader kiddushin under the Chuppah at your children's weddings? To honor with the Sheva Brochos? To name your grandchildren at their bris? Does anybody see the problem here?

63

 Apr 23, 2009 at 07:53 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #32  
Let's hear the other side Says:

Doctor Lipner has presented a one sided polemic about this legislation which has some very good points. However, I am taken aback by his sweeping condemnation of the Moetzes and his constant linkage of the Orthodox problem and the Catholic problem which are totally dissimilar in scope.

Any rational person that is not biased or a hater of Aguda will agree that at least some of the members of the Moetzes are straight and upstanding individuals and would brook no twisting of moral issues for the sake of financial issues.

The only fair way to judge this issue would be to hear a response from Aguda which explains their position. Jumping to conclusions based on this article alone is unfair and dishonest.

Just as side point, I learned in Lakewood and it's a chidush to me that Lakewood is granting smicha.

The problem is that "other side" that Agudah has presented their side in their very disappointing statement! We have heard their side it is more of the same old, same old protecting the pedophiles and "this will cost the olam so much money......."

64

 Apr 23, 2009 at 08:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

Noone ever said the owner is halachically responsible for the criminal actions of his employee. What IS being said is that when the employer (Yeshivos) are made aware of the abuse, they ignored it. So they are responsible for their own criminal act (allowing abuse) not for the Rebbe's criminal act.

65

 Apr 23, 2009 at 08:08 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #44  
Dovid Says:

And how does the school defend itself if they are innocent 10 or 20 years later. People move, witnesses are gone emories fad. There is a reason for the statute of limitations - there must be some fairness for the defendant too- believe it or not some are innocent.

What "WITNESSES"? There was the molester, the child and Hashem!! Who does this in public? All three witness are still here if there is a law suit or a confrontation. I see you believe the Agudah's rhetoric.

Secondly as I mentioned earlier, there can only be a court case if there is a certification of merit by a qualified health professional.

66

 Apr 23, 2009 at 08:34 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #59  
Someone who read what it says Says:

Aguda's concern is that lawsuit against institution will be able to take down the institution TODAY even though the responsible parties at the institutution left or were niftar YESTERDAY. Lo yumsu banim al avos, so long as current administration is not carrying on the cover-ups. The proposed law could easily be fixed to address this vital issue, but its backers choose not to make that fix because it is their goal to bring down institutions. There is anti-religiosity in the background here.
Suggest you read carefully the Aguda's statement, which Dr Lipner clearly did not or else he ignored it.
Deciding not to back this legislation does not mean a decision to protect wrong-doers.

Not exactly, if you know any victims at all you would realize that their intentions are to put the molesters out of business and to make the "protectors" of said molesters accountable for their actions. No one is looking to close an institution as ALL victims will agree, there were many mechanchim who were quite wonderful, caring and acting quite appropriately. Why throw out the baby with the bath water?

The reason why YOU and others would believe this nonsense is because that is what the AGUDAH and the Catholic Church is exactly what they want you and other to believe.

67

 Apr 23, 2009 at 08:27 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #57  
glatt Says:

a distintion needs to be made between suing the institution and the administration/perpetrators the mosod is also a victim and it should not be sued

The Mosad and the administration is one and the same. The administration is the governing body of the "Mosad".

68

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Howsabout a public statement from Agudah enccuraging Mosdos to fire and turn in current molesters and insist on reporting staff names to Ohel or the like for real Teshuva?

69

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:10 PM Sherree Says:

And by the way, if anyone has any information on how Shua Finkelstein's a"h house happened to "catch" on fire on Pesach, please go to the authorities with that information. As Yiddin we all know there is no such thing as coincidence!!!!!

Maybe the Agudah would like to comment on that, how after every home in Lakewood received a copy of Shua's essay of how we must all bring molesters to justice was delivered to their homes Erev Pesach, his family's home just happened to catch on fire. If the Rabbonim in Lakewood don't beg the authorities to conduct a full scale investigation and demand that every Frum Jew give their utmost cooperation then I want to hear the Agudah and every other Jewish Religious organization scream in outrage what a chilul Hashem to attack and compromise the lives of the family members of this niftar who is not even cold in his grave!

70

 Apr 23, 2009 at 09:54 PM Anonymous Says:

How tragic how we are our worst enemies !

71

 Apr 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM Frum Survivor Says:

Dr. Lipner you are a hero! God only knows how many lives you have saved.

Some of you don’t begin to understand what a victim is going through. It’s not the actual abuse (which is by any definition the most horrible punishment a human being can get) that we can’t swallow. It’s the cover up, being called a liar and most of all living with the guilt that others are being abused by the same abuser. Can anyone imagine what it means after being abused and reporting it and being called a lire and watching your abuser staying in the yeshiva while the victim was shipped overseas? Can anyone imagine what it feels like when that abuser gets kicked out of that yeshiva 9 months later in middle of zman and no one knows why but me? I could have saved another victim but I wasn’t allowed!!! Can anyone imagine what it feels like watching your abuser being kicked out of yeshiva NO 2 in middle of zman 1 year later and nobody knows why but me? I could have saved another victim but I wasn’t allowed!!! Can anyone imagine what it feels like watching your abuser being kicked out of yeshiva NO 3 in middle of zman 18 months after last time and nobody knows why but me? I could have saved another victim but I wasn’t allowed!!! Can you imagine what it feels like watching your abuser being kicked out of a mosed for Russian children and nobody knows why but me? I could of saved I don’t know how many more and I tried but I was laughed at that he learned his lesson I shouldn’t be paranoid!!! And it didn’t stop their.

Dr. lipner didn’t challenge Daas Torah. He challenged an organization which does a lot of goods at the same time criminally negligent when it comes to the safety of our children. If he has a view different then some Rabbis then they are not representatives of daas torah they are misrepresenting.

Dr. Lipner, Dov, Sherre, JBAC and all others who are fighting with no other agenda then to save our kids hashem will pay you back. At the end of the day if we don’t give up the real daas tora will prevail.
One of the most recognized doctors is putting together a support group. Hopefully it will be ready in 6-8 weeks. Anyone interested please contact me.
frumsurvivors@gmail.com

72

 Apr 24, 2009 at 01:12 AM Posek Acharon Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

The Moetzes condemned themselves with their actions. All Dr. Lipner did is point this out. The emperor has no clothes. Dr. Lipner did not take the clothes, and so he can't give them back.

73

 Apr 24, 2009 at 01:10 AM Hapeh She'assar Hu Hapeh She'hitir Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

The question was halachic precedent, not your boich sevoro. Where does it say an employer is responsible for the actions of his employee? Answer with chapter and verse please, no ranting and raving or sarcasm.
A victim does not have a right to compensation from the perpetrator either. He is morally bound to do his best to stop the molester being in a position to repeat his offenses but that is a case for the criminal courts, not the civil courts.
Lo sigzol.

Chapter and verse: The statement of Agudah and Torah Umesorah saying that their problem is only with lawsuits from long ago of other administrations, and frivolous lawsuits. They do not say that ANY lawsuits are wrong because of Lo Sigzol. Basically they indirectly acknowledge that there is a halacha of "Bor Birshus Harabim" for knowingly allowing a molester to teach in a moysad unsuspecting Jewish kinderlach, and that there should be a chiyuv tashlumin. Reb Shmuel, Shlita, TOLD the victims of Rabbi Wienberg to sue.

The Moetzes's attitude is that it is only THEIR yeshivas that they don't want sued. The halacha is like this. All people are created equal, but some people are created more equal than others. Yenem's yeshivah....sue, and there are no statutes of limitations in halacha. My yeshivah, we must have statute of limitations because my yeshivah is the lifeblood of Klal Yisroel. (It also happens to be a good source for giving shtellas to my kids and sons in law)

74

 Apr 24, 2009 at 12:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Dr Asher,

As a victim of molestation at the hands of Doktor Mondrowitz, I thank you for your beautiful essay. Your words are a balm to my wounds. What you wrote here projects a compassion I have tried to elicit from rabbonim for close to 30 years, sadly, without much succes.

75

 Apr 24, 2009 at 12:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Had the rabbis now running agudah listened to the parents of victims raped by Mondrowitz we wouldn't have him in an Israeli jail waiting for extradition and the biggest chilul hashem to come. You think Agudah's position is a chilul hashem? Just wait when the dirty laundry gets aired when Mondrowitz sees statue of liberty once again.

76

 Apr 24, 2009 at 12:26 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

"The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime."

Which Rav held "since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime"???

They used this as an excuse. The internet was not around when this "ruling"came out. So they figured no one would ever know or believe them. Now the internet has come out and the rest is history. How sad.

Pinchas Scheinberg of tzitzis fame is rumored to have said this in reference to a specific accurance of molestation.

77

 Apr 24, 2009 at 12:02 AM Anonymous Says:

What is aguda scared of? If an institution dealt with the issue when it arose and did not cover up, they are not liable. The law is very clear about this. Assume a man & woman work together at chase bank. He starts sexually harassing her. If she goes to the manager and complains and he follows up on it, she cannot sue chase. If the manager brushes her off, then she's got legal ground. It's the same here. If a teacher molests a kid, kid complains and the school can show that they dealt with it, the victim cannot sue the school. If the school did nothing, or worse harrassed the victim, it should be sued and shut down, plain and simple.

BTW, I'm saying this from experience. My sons' school had a teacher who was discovered molesting kids. Some parents sued the school and lost in court. The school proved that it followed proper procedure from the time the principal became aware of the abuse, and was absolved of liability.

78

 Apr 24, 2009 at 07:16 AM How to get AI to support this bill Says:

Someone has to tell the AI the truth, which no one wants to say because what Kolko and Mondrowitz really did to these innocent victims is too preetzudig to say in public.

They forced the boys to listen to Lipa's music. It was such a busha that they said 4exually molested' as a lashon nekiah so only the gedolim would understand the truth and the rest of us will think that all that happened was they were molested or raped, but not chas veshalom that they had to listen to Lipa.

And really they must have wanted to PROTECT Kolko, Mondrowitz, etc, because it is easier to find a good shidduch from a choshuv family for a boy who was repeatedly raped as a child than for a boy who listened to Lipa.

The roshai yeshiva themselves showed us which is worse - Lipa and his music was banned from all the 'good' yeshivas while sexual abuse wasn't even addressed for forty years.

Now that they will know the truth, that the bill just means that 'choshuver' yiddin will be able to sue Lipa for their kids going off the derech I am sure the AI will wholeheartedly support this new law.

79

 Apr 24, 2009 at 08:05 AM Twisted attitude Says:

Reply to #73  
Hapeh She'assar Hu Hapeh She'hitir Says:

Chapter and verse: The statement of Agudah and Torah Umesorah saying that their problem is only with lawsuits from long ago of other administrations, and frivolous lawsuits. They do not say that ANY lawsuits are wrong because of Lo Sigzol. Basically they indirectly acknowledge that there is a halacha of "Bor Birshus Harabim" for knowingly allowing a molester to teach in a moysad unsuspecting Jewish kinderlach, and that there should be a chiyuv tashlumin. Reb Shmuel, Shlita, TOLD the victims of Rabbi Wienberg to sue.

The Moetzes's attitude is that it is only THEIR yeshivas that they don't want sued. The halacha is like this. All people are created equal, but some people are created more equal than others. Yenem's yeshivah....sue, and there are no statutes of limitations in halacha. My yeshivah, we must have statute of limitations because my yeshivah is the lifeblood of Klal Yisroel. (It also happens to be a good source for giving shtellas to my kids and sons in law)

This rotten piece of slander is an excuse for you to discount the Talmidei Chachomim and run after your yetzer hara.

Rav Malkiel Kotler was once at a chasuna and an acquaintance from another Yeshiva came over and told him about his mosad's financial problems. Rav Malkiel shlit"a introduced him to one of the best backers of Lakewood to help him out even though he knew that Lakewood might take a hit because of this.

Your view is exactly backwards from the truth.

80

 Apr 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

Are you insinuating that these gedolim are noigeah b'davar and therefore not allowed to give a p'sak on this issue? I don't believe that the Moetzes Gedola Hatorah would be involved in such halachacli treif actions. Bite your tongue young man.

You are very naive, which may not be bad thing -in a way. Hey, ignorance is bliss.

81

 Apr 24, 2009 at 10:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Who appointed Dr. Lipner the Posek Acharon of Daas Torah on this problem? Upon whose Psak Halocho is he relying to give a blanket condemnation of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah?

Can anyone find a precedent in Halacha that the owner of a company is responsible for the crimes of his employee? FYI, Rav Kamenetsky allowed suing the criminal - not the employer.

If the employer had nothing to do with the crime then you are right. But a teacher, who is hired by a school to educate and care for children, abuses the child and the school does nothing about it, thereby allowing the conduct to continue is not just an employer of the criminal rather his enabler and is somewhat culpable for the crimes committed.

By the way who appointed the Moetzess as the "poisek achron"?

A psak from a rav (especially in your generation) who is not your 'mora d'atsra', and did not become an accepted 'minhag yisroel' does not have to be addhered to (as long as your are within the confines of accepted halachik Interpretation) be it from Reb Moishe zatza"l, Rav Elyashiv shlit"a or whoever.

These thing we call today "daas torah" and "posek hador" are distorted versions of age old institutions and concepts that have very little in relation to their current name sakes.

As to your question of whose psak halocho he is reying on. I beleive that the writer is a musmach of BMG as well as being an expert in this field (which probably gives him an edge over many Rabbonim) and his reasoning seems to stand on sound halachik foundations.

So unless you can find a problem with the merits of this argument, not the age or status of it's proponent, your objection seems rather preposterous.

82

 Apr 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #79  
Twisted attitude Says:

This rotten piece of slander is an excuse for you to discount the Talmidei Chachomim and run after your yetzer hara.

Rav Malkiel Kotler was once at a chasuna and an acquaintance from another Yeshiva came over and told him about his mosad's financial problems. Rav Malkiel shlit"a introduced him to one of the best backers of Lakewood to help him out even though he knew that Lakewood might take a hit because of this.

Your view is exactly backwards from the truth.

Would I be the first to do so if I pointed out that you are more twisted than a tornado?

83

 Apr 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
Anonymous Says:

You are very naive, which may not be bad thing -in a way. Hey, ignorance is bliss.

Me thinks #45 was speaking a little sarcasticly.

84

 Apr 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM Misunderstanding Says:

Reply to #62  
Sherree Says:

That is quite interesting because there was a parent who was looking for guidance from the Rabbanim and was basically told that these things will happen before Moshiach comes. Duh????? Therefore?????? Where in the Torah does it say that the children then have to be the kaporas and we have to allow it? Is this what learning Gemarah is all about? Is this how we are supposed to apply it to everyday life?

In that case, since it says in the Gemara, that if plony crosses the field and kills plony the family of plony one is entitled to compensation in such and such a way. We just expect that to happen because it says so in the Gemara and we don't find a way for the unfortunate soul not to get killed?

Was this Rav saying "lets sacrifice these children in this way to bring Moshiach sooner? And these are the same Rabbonim that you beg to be mesader kiddushin under the Chuppah at your children's weddings? To honor with the Sheva Brochos? To name your grandchildren at their bris? Does anybody see the problem here?

# 62 is yelling "fire" when there is no fire. The Gemara does not condone these DOGS of Pney Hador Kipney Hakelev (Meaning that the Pney Hador face, is like that of a DOG - as in "Pney Haeda - The Elders and Most Respected Leaders of the Generation)

The point of the Gemara predicting that the so called "Big Ones" of today will behave worse than the Rapists and Molesters themselves, (Stupidly and Shamlesly Going After Lipa Shmelzer but not going after Rapists and Molesters) the purpose is not to say "It's OK" or Chas vesholom that their despicable behavior of these so called "leaders", it is NOT be ignored, but critcised

The purpose is the opposite so when we see all these so called "highly respected people" behaving worse than the molesters whom they enable and protect, we should stop respecting all these "Big Ones" and we should know that the reason why we now see that the Emperor Has No Cloths, is so that we should no that he is indeed totally naked and not the so called "Highly Respected Leader" which they try to fool the frum community in to "looking up to them" may we should be looking down at them instead.

85

 Apr 24, 2009 at 01:24 PM another survivor Says:

Perpetrators enact and are enabled through silence and secrecy. Victims disassociate and lose their identity and voices. The only tool we have to fight our way back is with our voices. The Markey's bill is just another opportunity to give us back our voices we lost.

The voice of the Agudah hiding behind Torah U'mesorah while aligning itself with the church and stating "Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah most vigorously oppose any such legislation. " is "ain kol anos chalusha, v'ain kol anos gevura kol anos onoichi shomaia" - agudah's statement is the voice of chutspah against hashem and his Torah.

I have NO DOUBT that both on this world and in the next these two organizations will pay a dear price for this earth shattering chilul hashem, and pain they have just inflicted on me and the rest of us survivors. The Gemara in Baba Kama says that if one who has been emotionally hurt is unable to take someone to a Bais Din, they are allowed to moser din l'ishmaim. I urge all us victims / survivors to implore to hashem to take down these two organizations, and restore proper kvod shamaim.

To fight against this is similar to the enacting of Pinchus against Zimri the nasi. Both take up a fight against powerful individuals for the sanctity of violations against our (bris kodesh that has been violated) covenants’ with hashem. May hashem reward Dr. Lipner in this world and the next for his courageous article.

Please email me at emeshurts@gmail.com with either your stories or interest in joining group therapy.

ish es ray'aihuh yomer chazak!

86

 Apr 24, 2009 at 01:55 PM The winner Says:

Reply to #82  
Anonymous Says:

Would I be the first to do so if I pointed out that you are more twisted than a tornado?

Yes! Congratulations.

You are the first straight as a corkscrew person to claim this delusion.

87

 Apr 24, 2009 at 02:53 PM Sherree Says:

I have prepared a response to the Agudah and sent it to the editors of all the Jewish editorials. Should I be shocked that the Agudah is omnipotent? Is that what it originally set out to be, untouchable or responsible and helpful to the community of Jews? I have 4 signatories on the letter, myself, Asher Lipner, Pearl Engleman and Elie Hiller. I believe that it would gain strength and power if victims and others chose to sign along with us with their name and titles. Even more so, if victims finally chose to "out" their abusers because if the Agudah will not cooperate, and will also not retire these abusers themselves quietly, there is no other way to tell the public who these molesters are. There were only a small handful of individuals who had the courage to come forward and name Kolko and Mondrowitz. Had they not done so, both Kolko and Mondrowitz would have still had free reign to continue to harm and destroy over the past few years an unknown amount of additional victims.

There is definitely safety and power in numbers. I am hoping that with enough signatures I can get the Jewish papers to post the response to the Agudah and it will have an impact on them, but more so on the rest of us, who truly don't understand the parsha and really need to know. Yes I know, I can go the much easier route and take it to the NY Times, Post and Daily News, they will eat it up, but I really don't want to do that. It is not my intent to cause scrutiny by outsiders. I will however take our signed response and send it to the Agudah and to our legislatures to promote the passing of the Markey Bill.

If you would like to get a copy of our response so that you .can decide whether or not to add your signature and hopefully add your full name or first name last initial or first initial last name; victim of " first and last name" and year of the abuse; then email me at sherree@belsky.us. I hope VIN that you will do this service and post this.

88

 Apr 25, 2009 at 08:44 PM Sherree Says:

I was doing a lot of thinking over Shabbos. There are a lot of memorial walls that go up. The Wall of Valor, the Wall of Remembrance and so on. Unfortunately I think that we have come to a point that WE will have to initiate the "WALL of SHAME". Since the Agudah and Torah U'mesorah refuse to not only cooperate and support the Markey bill but have not done anything in retribution for their crimes such as "we have decided to work with the Jewish Board of Advocates to form an Arbitration committee where victims can come and name their abusers and together with the JBAC we will
A) remove them from Yeshiva systems;
B) Assign them a personal 24/7 escort to monitor their activities and make sure they are no where near children or alone with minors at any time
C) Provide their victims with a face to face meeting monitored by a member of the JBAC to allow an opportunity to ask mechilah and give the victim an opening for healing.
D) immediately implement the fingerprint and background check legislation and bring the religious institutions equal to the safe kids safe schools provisions in the public school system even before it becomes mandatory by law in all states that are under our guidance.
E) Require and Enforce Mandatory reporting laws from this point forward to deter any new incidents from occurring
F) Destroy the old notion of "not in my backyard" because a Yiddish neshoma is a valuable commodity no matter whose backyard we are talking about.

Then it unfortunately looks like WE the people will have no choice but to protect each other from the predators they are protecting by starting naming names and listing them publicly on the "WALL of SHAME" such as:

Victim P Plony by Rabbi Plony Plonimus, Yeshiva and Mesivta Chaim Plonimus, Brookyn, NY 1985

89

 Apr 25, 2009 at 09:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #86  
The winner Says:

Yes! Congratulations.

You are the first straight as a corkscrew person to claim this delusion.

I find that hard to believe.

Surely you know one normal person who pointed this out to you already?

90

 Apr 26, 2009 at 01:51 AM shmuel Says:

Reply to #9  
deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

After such a stupid, self-serving, moronic decision by the "Moetzes", who isn't qualified to insult them?

91

 Apr 26, 2009 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
deepthinker Says:

"Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. ..
"The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty..."

This arrogant professor considers himself qualified to insult the Moetzes Gedolei hatorah!

This arrogant deepthinker considers himself qualified to insult the an this and every expert in the field of treating sexually abused children.

Maybe the poster has thinks he knows how to cure the machleh because he has caused some of it himself.

92

 Jul 01, 2009 at 03:16 PM Al Strap Says:

Rabbi Dr. Lipner;

As you and Rabbi Dr. Benzion Twerski have shown elsewhere (www.rabbihorowitz.com), the Torah Sages of the Moetzes have not taken an official position on Markey; in fact, some of these Gedolai HaTorah support it. Accordingly, the opposition of Agudath Israel is based strictly on the opinions of staff members like Rabbis Chaim Dovid Zweibel and Yakov Horowitz, who claim -- falsely -- that the Moetzes "unanimously" supports them.

As a Agudah member, I strongly urge other members and all concerned Jews to join me in writing letters of protest to Rabbis Zweibel and Horowitz.


93

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