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September 30, 2009

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Dr. Asher Lipner

Shmarya,

You have admirably tough standards. Next thing you will want me to actually condemn child sexual abuse! LOL

Ok, I admit that having named one villian that night whom I had never named publicly before, I was not going to go down a list of all the culprits right then and there. We would have been there all night, and I was actually just responding to a question. I did name the orthodox community as a whole as not naming molesters even though the establishment (Yated Neeman and Aguda) now admits that thousands have been molested, and cited the one exception to prove the rule. I tried to convey the message that our leaders would now want us to believe that thousands have been molested but there are no molesters, kind of like the OJ Simpson legal team's approach as to who killed Nicole. Both you and Rabbi Eisenman have inspired me to be more careful to name as many names as possible as often as possible, if for no other reason then so as not to give the impression of breaking the Torah principle of "Lo Saguru Mipnei Ish".

As for not having informed you of the event, I apologize. I am not a publicist. Do not take it personally. I don't even know you. I sent it to my personal email list of friends and colleagues which includes a couple of bloggers and some newpaper editors. Now that you have asked so nicely, I will be glad and proud to add you to that list so you will be kept up to date in the future. What's your email address? I could not find it at the contact link. Mine is lipnera@gmail.com.

Speaking of not knowing you, I just read your bio and religous beliefs and have to say that I am amazed. You're a good man. I hope that you have a bit of a sense of humor about the excommunication thing, although I'm sure it was not fun. Is it actually honored by Chabad everywhere? Can it be lifted by writing a request for dispensation to the Rebbe "Shlita?" I have a good friend who learns in the Lakewood Kollel who used to say that his dream in life was to be put in Cherem by Rav Shach Z"L(while he was still alive). My friend aspired to be on the short list of members who have done so much for Klal Yisroel: Rav Steinzaltz, Rabbi Riskin, Nechama Lebowitz, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, etc. And I'm sure you know that if you need a minyan you are welcome in Rabbi Eisenman's shul and probably a few others (there is one place I know of in Williamsburg that even allows Reb Nachum Rosenberg in).

Thanks for posting the event and calling attention to its importance, and for all you have done to publicize the problem of abuse. As for Rabbi Eisenman, I'm sure he feels he does not need any more praise than he is deservedly getting from supporters of abuse and the crowd that was there that night. He certainly did not make the event to get praised.

Keep up the good work...CHAZAK!

Asher

Dr. Asher Lipner

Steve,

I just went back and re-read Rabbi Horowitz's editorial in the Jewish Press expressing his opposition to the Markey Bill. The title about Walking the Dog Bacwards is fitting for the obscenity that it leads into.

I would like to be clear that I never "involved" Rabbi Horowitz in any of my endeavors, not for lack of trying, but simply because he has never agreed to get involved. He would not join the Jewish Board Rabbinic Committee, and would not even sign our Yom Kippur Resolution. And he did not show up for the conference I made last September, even after I agreed to all of his conditions of no newspapers, no pictures, etc. I even offered to give him a pair of Groucho Marx glasses as a disguise, so nobody could say he was there, and he would not lose his job at Agudah.

Aside for his betrayal in the case of the Markey Bill, he also does not realize the brilliant truism of Alcoholics Anonymous about dealing with a community in denial:

Half measures afford us nothing.

While I have never met with Rabbi Horowitz in person, I hear loud and clear from you that there is a question of public perception. I will try to be more careful in the future, when I choose examples of good deeds, not to praise people who have turned their back on us no matter what good they have done in the past.

Asher

Shmarya

Please.

Asher, you did not NAME those you condemned or do so in context, meaning with the praise you gave.

As for me praising Rabbi Eisenman, I posted the audio – even though you were not kind enough to send it to me or even notify me of the event – and said that it was a very important and asked readers to listen to it. I have also shred that audio with other bloggers who wanted to post it but had no access from you, Weiss or Rabbi E to get it.

So stop dodging and start admitting that you SELECTIVELY chose who to condemn and in which venue to condemn them.

Dr. Asher Lipner

Shmarya,

You said that I must CONDEMN the bad along with adknowledging the good.

I wrote two editorials, one published on VosIzNeias and one published in the Jewish Week condemning those who oppose the Markey Bill as "cruel and callous" people who do not really care.

In this case, I condemned publicly those who refuse to name the name of molesters.

How about a deal? I will continue to condemn the bad as I have loudly done, if you will begin to praise the good.

Talk about conspicuous. After all of your explanations for why you did not have time to praise Rabbi Eisenman yet, it is weeks later and still nothing.

Deal?

Anony  Mouse

Danny ST,
Do you have an anonymous email that I can reach you at???
Shmaryahu, if you have a working email address for Danny please feel free to send mine to him (only) thanks.

Shmarya

Asher –

Please.

You need to CONDEMN the bad along with acknowledging the good.

You are conspicuously missing at least half of the equation.

Asher Lipner

Steve,

Thanks for the chizuk.

This is a strategic question as well as a moral one. For example, would you have Rabbi Eisenman refrain from using the Novominsker Rebbe's own words or the Yated Neeman's to prove that they themselves have at least admitted the problem, because of their abysmal actions and non-actions on this issue?

To me it seems that when we get those who stand against progress to make baby steps and even to 'throw us a bone" we should ignore it, but we should acknowledge it for the purpose of using their own slight progress to demand more.

I do not forgive Rabbi Horowitz for the pain he caused victims. But, I hope that whatever he has done to help will continue, and therefore it should be recognized. It also shows others what could be done.

If there are other survivors out there who have feelings about this, I wuold be very interested in hearing from you.

Asher Lipner, Ph.D.
lipnera@gmail.com

steve

Dr. Lipner,

First, I would like to thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the survivors and on behalf of all Jewish children. You are a true leader in that you are not afraid to go up against people in high places and to fight for the truth. That said, I believe Shmarya has a legitimate complaint about Rabbi Horowitz. You cannot minimize the damage he has done for our cause by his treachery. Do not underestimate his readership, as even Assemblywoman Margaret Markey felt the need to respond to his attacks. Yes, you did take him to task, as I and others did on his blog. However, I no longer care what he has to say and no longer consider him an ally in this war. I would not be so quick to shower him with praise, even for his positive words and actions in the past. I believe he showed his true colors in his stance against the Child Victims Act and proved that he can no longer be trusted. He is clearly on the side of the Agudah, which is an organization that will stop at nothing to thwart any efforts that will benefit abuse victims and that will expose child molesters. The fact that he is still on their payroll at Project Yes shows where his loyalty remains. You, on the other hand, did the right thing by disassociating yourself from Ohel.

The survivors that you mentioned that do not read his blog any longer obviously feel betrayed. They feel that the man is a hyporcrite. He has become irrelevant to them and to their cause. I think you should reevaluate your position regarding Rabbi Horowitz and try not to involve him in any future endeavor you undertake for the sake of our children.

Asher Lipner

Shmarya,

I believe you are referring to my praising Yankie Horowitz for naming Mondrowitz publicly. Even though he is 1000% dead wrong and I have taken him to task publicly for his position on Markey. I believe give credit where credit is due, and he has done something good for the cause, and I also was using this as an exception to the rule of not naming molesters no matter what.

As for my article bashing the Catholics, the point there was to wake up the legislators in Albany to the horrible moral disaster of selling kids safety for Catholic dollars. Think about it comparatively as to who is a bigger problem for us:

Catholics spending millions of dollars to lobby against Markey? Or Yankie Horowitz writing against Markey on Vosizneias that no legislator reads?

And I made it look like the Orthodox are united for Markey in that context the same way Marci Hamilton did in her article "I root for the rabbis (against the Catholics). I was hoping to get a religious war started purely for publicity.

I apologize for offending your sensibility and I understand your feelings very well. Many survivors have told me they stopped reading Rabbihorowitz.com after he took such a controversial stand with Agudah and the Catholics. Again, I understand but feel that we can still give him credit for the positive he has done.

I hope I have clarified.

Asher

itchiemayer

I am disappointed that this story is being virtually ignored. Nobody wants to weigh in? I have made it clear where I stand.

itchiemayer

This event that Rabbi Eisenman, Shlita, coordinated is a more significant event for the orthodox world than Siyum HaShas in Madison Square Garden could ever be.

Joey

betsheva, Listen to the entire event, there was a courages 16 year old girl Sarah that told her story..

Danny  ST

I just listened to the entire tape, often crying. I was sexually assaulted once as a camper at Camp Munk by another boy in the presence of other campers. Subsequently I punched the boy and Mrs. Munk asked what happened and I could not find the words or even comprehend what myy world of anger, pain, and shame was about.

Most of all I grew up in the frum world and I knew that we just didn't talk about unpleasant things.

I cried for a lot of reasons in listening to the tape. I cried for the pain that those speakers went through as children. I cried tears of joy that finally they are being listened to. I cried at the way Rabbi Eisenman acknowledged the sins of the community. I was especially touched at the way in which he enclosed them in his concept of community whether or not they were OTD.

I was also touched by Rabbi Eisenman's calls to action. He criticized his colleagues who chickened out on the event. He made it clear that the community has to live with whatever other unpleasant truths will emerge as the truths about abuse come out. He ridiculed the lashon harah evasions. He also ridiculed unreal standards of proof to justify inaction. He also issued a call to action: refuse money to those who won't stop covering up for molesters (e.g., Ger and Torah Temima) I wonder why he did not go after satmar as well.

betsheva

Why is it that it's always the same survivors speaking out at these things? Where are all the others? Why aren't there more female survivors speaking out? I mean statistically it happens more to female children then male.

Shmarya

I just told you that SFJ and others – never at a loss to find me when they need a favor – forgot to give me info on the event or send me the audio link.

Is that too difficult for you, Itchemayer? They screwed up.

Past that, and past basic blog posting, I have 2 articles for other publications due, and I've got a couple bigger stories I'm working on for us.

That takes time.

And I can't drop everything just because you want me to.

itchiemayer

Surely you knew of this event, right? If not, then you should have.

I don't see any reason at this point, why I would apologize for my comments.

Shmarya

Shmarya, while we disagree on many things, I have been a supporter of yours. I must say I am disappointed with your reluctance to praise the event, and with your excuses about how hard you are working, etc..

Please.

You were riding me about praising the 2.4 hour event less than 4 hours after I got access to the audio.

If you cannot see why that is wrong, I can't help you.

This is a monumental event (IMHO), and despite the event happening more than 4 days ago, you have failed to properly cover it. UOJ had advertised the event in advance, and had the audio link by Tuesday. You are quick to criticize, and you lose credibility if you don't praise someone when deserved. It does show an anti-orthodox bias on your part. Frankly, I am disturbed by this.

That happened because Survivors for Justice and others forgot to send me the link to the audio, etc.

I can't publicize and event when I'm not given publicity materials and I can't comment on audio I've not yet heard.

At this point, you have lost a bit of credibility in my book. I think you have fumbled the ball on this one, big time.


You may want to consider apologizing.

itchiemayer

Shmarya, while we disagree on many things, I have been a supporter of yours. I must say I am disappointed with your reluctance to praise the event, and with your excuses about how hard you are working, etc..

This is a monumental event (IMHO), and despite the event happening more than 4 days ago, you have failed to properly cover it. UOJ had advertised the event in advance, and had the audio link by Tuesday. You are quick to criticize, and you lose credibility if you don't praise someone when deserved. It does show an anti-orthodox bias on your part. Frankly, I am disturbed by this.

I think I have displayed my objectivity on this blog on a regular basis. I am Torah observant but have never been one to jump on the "Shmarya is anti-orthodox" theme that some have in the past.

At this point, you have lost a bit of credibility in my book. I think you have fumbled the ball on this one, big time.

Shmarya

Sigh.

What don't you understand?

Do you think the moment I got the audio I stopped everything else I was doing, stopped answering the phone and working, locked myself in a room and listened undisturbed to all 2.4 hours of it?

Do I owe you some instantaneous endorsement of individual participants?

Please.

Now here's your one word answer: Yes.

itchiemayer

I have a simple question for Shmarya, one which I request only a "yes" or a "no" for an answer.

Kudos to Rabbi Eisenmann for doing this?

My perception is that you are very reluctant to give your stamp of approval to this historic event. It may not have been everything you would want, but that's life.

Shmarya

steve –

Listen to it. It's toward the end, in the last 30 minutes, I think.

Shmarya

Missed it. Had some construction here yesterday.

But that doesn't explain why SFJ didn't post it themselves or embed it for others to use and play online.

steve

I have not had the chance to listen to it yet. Who did Dr. Lipner praise?

itchiemayer

UOJ had it yesterday, which is how I heard the audio, and he had been touting this event for the last week or so.

Shmarya

Let's just say there are certain issues – like Asher Lipner praising frum Jews who helped block the bill Asher Lipner campaigned for, while Lipner recently publicly trashed non-Jews who blocked that bill – that really piss me off.

itchiemayer

Alright, I'm eagerly awaiting. What got me was your comment that you didn't agree with everything. As I wrote, in two hours plus, of course noone would agree with everything. I was disappointed in that negative commment, when the focus should be positive on what an extraordinary event it was.

Shmarya

Which, BTW, is more than anyone else did.

I checked SFJ's blog and website – nothing.

No one else posted the audio, as far as I can see.

And, without going into details, there's more here than meets the eye – and I do NOT mean that as a slap against the rabbi.

Shmarya

I just got the thing, what, three or four hours ago. I'm busy! At least I listened once, did the file conversion and posted it.

itchiemayer

I am stunned Shmarya that you have not commented more extensively on this event which I consider to be an extraordinary one within the orthodox world. I am disappointed you appear reluctant to give any credit to the Rabbi and the shul.

itchiemayer

It was very good. In two hours plus, it would be highly unlikely you would agree with everything. Rabbi Eisenmann, Shlita is to be applauded for doing this. A week ago I wouldn't have added the "shlita", but now I must.

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