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January 30, 2013

Video: Rabbi Manis Friedman 'Clarifies' His Position On Child Sex Abuse

Rabbi manis friedmanChabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman tries to clarify his position on child sexual abuse in a new video released tonight. But is what Friedman says on this new video clip enough? Is it an apology for the hurt he caused with the video publicized yesterday? Does it explain and correct his offensive remarks in that video? Is it an honest acknowledgement that he was wrong, that he made mistakes, that he hurt victims, and that he's sorry? In short, is it teshuva, repentance as defined by the Jewish law Friedman is paid to represent?

Rabbi manis friedman
Rabbi Manis Friedman

Originally published at 9:17 pm CST 1-29-2013

Chabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman attempts to clarifiy his position on child sexual abuse in a new video released tonight.

But is what Friedman says on this new video clip enough?

Is it an apology for the hurt he caused yesterday? Does it explain and correct his offensive remarks released yesterday? Is it an honest acknowledgement that he was wrong, that he made mistakes, that he hurt victims, and that he's sorry?

In short, is it teshuva, repentance as defined by the Jewish law Friedman is paid to represent?

I'm sorry to say that it is not teshuva.

There is no apology, no acknowledgement that he was wrong, no acknowledgement that he made mistakes or that he hurt victims – all halakhic (Jewish law) requirements for repentance to be valid. There is also no credible explanation given by Friedman for why he said the hurtful and foolish things he said in the video clip publicized yesterday.

When watched one after the other, the videos make clear that Rabbi Friedman would still make all the same claims to child sexual abuse victims today as he made yesterday. So victims should just 'get over it,' they're not damaged directly from the abuse, it's only the 'collateral damage' that hurts them, and they can just shrug that off and go on with life by not letting the collateral damage control them.

Little comfort (and even less truth) for victims who often suffer flashbacks, panic attacks, severe depression, self-loathing they cannot control and suicidal thoughts.

For those who missed it, yesterday's video is posted below tonight's attempt by Friedman to spin his way out of the mess yesterday's video caused.

In 2009, Manis Friedman essentially called for genocide against Palestinians and other Arabs when responding in writing to a written question from Moment Magazine.

Friedman's response was published by Moment alongside the responses of many other rabbis – none of whom used the question to call for genocide.

Here are some of the posts related to that controversy: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Comments

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Seriously? You understood that? I just posted this on the other thread thingy: " Excuse me, but WTF did he say? Really. Other than a victim is like contaminated oil and only rabbis can set them on the right path... what a bunch of word vomit.

He's an ass! Probably a rich ass. Did no one notice this before? Rabbis are not professionals. No one protects the consumers from them.

Ridiculous."

I think this clown realized that Chabad's secular supporters might finally realize what a sick outfit that Chabad is.

My wife was emotionally abused by her father.
She is still seeing a 'shrink'

I can well imagine what sexual abuse can do
Best thing that happened is that I had to move to Texas
She gained some relief when the old buzzard croaked from Alzheimer

By the way I did not attend the funeral, I stayed here in Texas to take care of the
cats.

You know what my wife says a punishment should be??
Tie the rapist down in a iron chair and let the victims relatives in to give him a nice slow trip to hell

MostRabbis (99.9 percent) cannot apologize. Its that simple. No shamefullness. None whatsoever.

clearly friedman has been taken completely out of context, and actually is very sensitive and serious about this issue.
I fail to understand the fuss. Must be a slow news day.

This second video just confirms what a clueless scumbag he is! Again no apology for the laughing or admitting any wrongdoing. Repeating that because a child was molested they r damaged goods but don't worry - there is still a purpose for you.

If you were a true leader you would stand up and say we will NEVER protect molesters. Don't say - I was telling other leaders it's not their job to protect molesters. Actually rabbi - all your jobs should be protecting the CHILDREN by reporting and removing the molestors from your community!!!

I am absolutely irate. Now I am waiting for an apology for the rebuttal video.

Get a clue rabbi!!!!!

But I bet you don't fail to believe in the Tooth Fairy.

Sandra, k let's try this simple excersize.
Step 1. Pull very hard to get your head out of Manis's ass.
Step 2. You didn't realize how deep inside it was, so pull again. Very hard.
Step 3. Wipe the feces off your brain.

i call BULLSHIT on his "don't mix the disciplines, Rabbis talk about age old wisdom and eternal truth and therapists talk about the individual" excuse for his lighthearted speech about molestation. EVERY yeshiva elementary school and high school claims that its warm and loving Rabbis mold the character of the child and provide the whole child with the individual assistance they need. The "rebbes" all think they are in the school to "form , shape and build" character. If they are not physically molesting the students, they are mentally molesting them. Rabbis love to play psychologist and the one thing they love the most is to hear the gory intimate details of an individual's private problems. They don't get to watch soap operas so this is the most entertaining part of their job. If they were only talking "4000 year old wisdom" they wouldn't be holding one on one sessions with people.

Why is 4000 wisdom (which, frankly, is a theory I don't get in the first place) any better than contemporary wisdom - and by contemporary I mean roughly the period of time since Shmarya catapulted Haredi child rape to the bright light of day?

So this guy became a Rabbi and he makes his money how? Self promoting? The guy is narcissist.

So his recovery is essentially that rabbis shouldn't dabble in psychology. Hallelujah. Even when covering their asses the rabbis still place no significance upon the trauama that sexual abuse casues. Again, I think the reason is plain and simple: all the rabbis understand and crave is power, so they don't know (or want to know) what it's like to have a lack of control. I guess psychoanalyzing the psychoanalysts doesn't help much. It would be a big help it the rabbis came out and said with a firm conviction that they will support and give love and respect to victims of sexual abuse and oust the molesters and send them to police, but of course we won't get that out of them.

Sleazebag. I would like to light a cigarette nearby that beard, let it caught fire and ask him how does it feel.

I think he should come out and say very clearly that not only is it "not a Rabbi's job to protect molesters" but that it IS a Rabbi's job to report any suspicions of abuse right away without hesitation about reputations of the possible abuser.

In terms of most of his substance, I think that if you take into account that he is only talking about how to help the victim post abuse, his message really would help many of those abused. "You have been damaged, but it is something that you can overcome and don't worry if you don't feel guilty". I think that message and the similar messages resonate with many abuse victims when they are spoken in the right context. I would even postulate that he may be an abuse victim himself, and is trying to underplay the damage that was done to him. Heck, it almost sounds like one of those "it gets better" videos to victims of bullying.

Who gives these self-promoting freaks the permission to put up a shingle and have anything to say about stuff they have not been trained for?

No rabbi that i know who does "counseling" has had any formal training in the field.

Non-jewish people in authority are mistakenly taking these rabbis as trained professionals, which they aren't.

We need to tell them, and quickly before more damage is done.

Here's what I think he's saying:

1. That victims of abuse stand a better chance of healing if they don't walk around feeling like "damaged goods", if they get in touch with the "pure oil" within themselves and realize there is something that no abuser can touch or ruin.

2. That his job (as a rabbi) is to make points like this, which try to elevate and inspire people, but that it's no replacement for a psychologist, whose role is to help a person process their actual feelings and experiences.

Both these points are sensible, BUT... First off, they're not made particularly clearly. And more importantly: He does not apologize for inappropriately laughing off the trauma and suffering of abuse victims. Nor does he give the impression that he truly empathizes with that suffering, which should have been his goal here.

Offering a "perush" as to why you were insensitive is no way to reconcile. (That's Relationships 101.)

the cultural behaviour of many hardei men is child abuse, paedophilia, theft and extorsion. read to day israeli newspaper quotes a gadol hardei rabbi in israel on cultural behaviour. what a bunch of F k wits.can go and masturbate in mrs rubashkin's mink coat instead of luring young girls of hardei families for therapy.

monsey= suppressed hardei potential child-molesters. au masse.

Rabbi Friedman....i love you and you have always been kind to me...
but there is no doubt that

Manis you are lying to protect your ass and Chabad's.

Rabbi Friedman....if g-d forbid, it was one of your 14 precious children....YOU WOULD NOT BE CHUCKLING.
or making it sound so trivial. no lasting effects???? are you kidding me? not to say these children can't, with a lot of luck, be happy one day....but damaged goods feeling? from a religious jew? who abuses? that touches the soul Rabbi Friedman...
because the soul is Jewish and needs to look up to Rabbis. I don't think you get it-the pain of someone hurting and lying to you. It does show me what a sheltered life you've led. for this i am happy for you. you know a lot Rabbi Friedman-but about being abused you know nothing. just what women have told you of their pain. It's like losing a parent....you don't know the pain until you experience it yourself. full stop. may g-d bless you.

The man is soft spoken,as well as a blow hard. He has the hubris to think he walks around with 4000 years of knowlege and an understanding of "universal truth" in his back pocket. What a pretentious putz. However I believe he's sincere in what he thinks, but unfortunately he's been educated by a cult and he filters the world only through the narrow lense that he's been given. May God forgive him.

I listened to both. I don't understand the uproar. He said rabbis should counsel victims that they have not been de-valued by the event. They still have an intrinsic worth, a purpose. They're not damaged goods. Or, alternatively, that we all have sustained some damage in our lives. We're all damaged goods to some extent.

Yes - a couple of his comparisons were supremely idiotic, unbelievably stupid. And his tone in the original video could have been more respectful.
But I'm not ready to string him up yet. Pitchforks & torches maybe.

The comments on collive are telling, posted by people who want desperately to retain their faith in one of their cultural icons. It's always that way, especially in a cult like Chabad.

BeenThereDoneThat - There are some rabbi who have done academic psychology training or are certified therapists, there are also psychologists with smicha. I think it is weird to mix the two, because do you really want your psychologist judging you or can you really be fully open to a rabbi?

Also YCT does train Rabbis in real psychology:
http://www.yctorah.org/content/view/640/47/

Ruthie - I think he has had personal experience with CSA, if he himself has not been abused then maybe a close family member which is why he wants to destigmitize it and laugh it off. Just thinking back to what Shmarya says his reaction was when Shmarya said that these kids could be your family. It still is really strange that he doesn't think of it in a broader context as something to save people from, maybe because then he would have to admit how traumatic it is.

You guys are a bunch of haters, who could care less about the reality and only care about venting your hate.

Stop venting hate and start working on yourself!

Shmarya, do you need weight loss advice? Let me know, and I'll give you a few tips. Lose weight and live longer!

What is most disturbing in terms of hypocrisy is the double standard on double standards. Anyone who examines a claim made by Jewish rabbinic consensus is an ignoramus who has "problems." However, anyone who states a claim certified by multiple independent scientific protocols can be disregarded.

All traditional claims must be automatically accepted and you are a fool and a crackpot if you question it. All factual claims upheld by observation can be disregarded, if the contest what I am saying. Evidence is overrated and irrelevant. Education, even more so. And yet Saint Manis is a rock star in Chabad largely based on his educated sounding pseudo logic, defending not only Judaism (certainly do not blame for that) but all sorts of silly non-Jewish superstitious claptrap, debunked hundreds of times. And yet he insists on using the claptrap to prove the Judaism. But real observational, evidence based science can be safely disregarded. Don't try to follow his logic. You'll get whiplash.

Explainer

I found your picture under the following dictionary entries:

condescending
obnoxious
boorish
arrogant
and used as an example under "ad hominem"

I'd just say to you what my football coach always told me. Go for the ball, not for the receiver. When you reach the age of 20, you will begin to understand how your attitude does not serve your intentions (and I am giving you the benefit of the doubt).

Rebeljew

I wish you lots of luck in life. I hope that you can find a decent paying job and stop watching animals on the internet for once!

"All traditional claims must be automatically accepted and you are a fool and a crackpot if you question it. All factual claims upheld by observation can be disregarded...."

What rebeljew is referring to is the medieval concept of the two ways of knowing: authority and experience. Authority means scriptural writings and the commentary and teachings of religious leaders, while experience is the evidence of the senses. The medieval world privileged authority over experience and was very distrustful of what they felt were the misleading impressions of the senses. Essentially the Church said, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" And it had better be "me," or you go to the stake.

The development of the scientific method based on controlled observation (that is, in medieval terms, experience) is one of the hallmarks of modernity. And, of course, ultra-Orthodox Judaism rejects the 'modernishe' in all its forms.

The explainer-What a hypocrite , and what are you doing not venting youre hate on us all here? you pea brained fool.

Oh, and in discussing the role of a rabbi in situations of sexual abuse, he neglects to mention that the rabbi's role includes fulfilling the obligations of a mandatory reporter the minute he receives information about possible child abuse. Of course...

Haters, stop hating! Change your life for better!

You can really do it! Stop using your passiveness as an excuse. Whatever you do in life depends only on you!

The explainer -- YOU ARE MENTALLY DERANGED YOU COME HERE A LECTURE US ABOUT HATE BUT YOU ARE EVEN MORE HATEFULL THEN MANY IN HERE,STOP BEING A HYPOCRITE,GO GET HELP BEFORE YOURE DEEPER INTO YOURE NEVERNEVERLAND.

I realize my mistake now. I should not have ever posted on this website, since I now realize that the only people who post comments here are poor deranged souls. I will daven that Hashem have mercy on you and you should obtain employment, health and happiness in your life.

Shmarya (whatever your real legal name is), please remove all my comments from this site for mentally deranged individuals. Thank you.

Explainer

Do you have anything to offer the conversation other than derision toward others, condescension, arrogance and ad hominem attacks? Wasn't there that lashon whatever law that they teach about in some yeshivas? Oh yeah, that charge only applies in the second person, I forgot. In the first person, one is always exempt.

I realize my mistake now. I should not have ever posted on this website, since I now realize that the only people who post comments here are poor deranged souls. I will daven that Hashem have mercy on you and you should obtain employment, health and happiness in your life.

Translation: "People on this website are saying things I don't want to hear, forcing me to confront the possibility that my holy rebbaim might have lied to me and that I may actually have to think for myself (chos v'sholem!). If I can convince myself they're all crazy, perhaps I can keep holding onto my security blanket for a little while longer."

And yet Saint Manis is a rock star in Chabad largely based on his educated sounding pseudo logic, defending not only Judaism (certainly do not blame for that) but all sorts of silly non-Jewish superstitious claptrap, debunked hundreds of times.

I wonder if fruminizing Bob Dylan enhanced his reputation.

Oh Jeff, how that comment made my day....

Well, that makes my day then!

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