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July 23, 2013


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Glatt some questions

It's not about religion. It's about power. It's about protecting the institution over the victims. That's the common thread. Otherwise how do you explain Penn State and Horace Mann


Bas Melech - I agree with SML that exposure does and WILL help. It will also help down the line when the rabbinic leaders will finally realize that the damage from exposure turns out to be much worse than the damage from admitting that these problems exist and need to be dealt with by the secular authorities and secular professionals. Then the leaders will start doing something.

The changes may be very slow, but things are changing with every bit of exposure. In the last 10 years there have been some big and positive changes. Kolko was finally arrested, along with other long-time abusers. There is more awareness in the frum world. There is a childrens book that was put out which has promoted awareness. Frum parents are not as naïve as they used to be due to all the exposure. The leaders are the slowest to change, because it always serves them to keep the status quo since they are self-elected and have absolute power over the minds and money of the people. But changes have been made and are being made as we speak, albeit slowly. And exposure is the key. Shmarya gets a lot of credit for his big part in the exposure. Kudos to him!


Check out the "Reader Picks" section of the comments for the original NYT article. Some of those comments are excellent.


Catholicism is not a cult so there's no circle-the-wagons mentality among most Catholics the way there is among frum Jews, plus most of the molestations by priests were of boys and young men so no chance to vilify females as whores.. US Catholics are falling away in large numbers from being observant anyway so their clergy are no longer venerated as they once were; the Church just can't get away with what Hasidim can. There's no insularity to speak of among Westernized Catholics.

Probably the groups most comparable sociologically to frum Jews are some of the fringe Protestant sects in the South and the Midwest, some of the more radical and insular Mormons and some of the Amish such as the fringe group that was involved in the recent spate of beard-and-hair cutting attacks; their leader as I recall reserved a sort of droit-de-signeur over young married women in his little community.


(The other) Eli -

good point.

(The other) Eli

I could be mistaken, but I think the haredi cover ups have been worse in some ways. As horrible as the Catholic sexual abuse cover ups were, I don't recall seeing priests calling victims whores in the same way the Teitelbaums have. Nor did their counterparts to people like Weberman become venerated into saintly martyrs.


As i wrote many times here before all the molesters and their protectors should be skinned alive slowly.


"...Unfortunately, I doubt that public exposure will curtail abuse. Orthodox Jews will dismiss it as antisemitism. Seculars will claim that they always knew something was wrong with very religious people...."

Maybe sufficient public exposure will lead to questions being asked as to why the prosecution rate is so low which we can only hope will eventually lead to changes. Exposure will provide some cover for elected officials who have the guts to act. Whatever's done will have to be imposed on these shtetl dwellers; they're so inward-directed that they see no evil, hear no evil no matter what.

Bas Melech


Newspaper editors cut articles to fit in allotted space. The original writing might have had the appropriate cites.

Unfortunately, I doubt that public exposure will curtail abuse. Orthodox Jews will dismiss it as antisemitism. Seculars will claim that they always knew something was wrong with very religious people.


The hassidik culture was doomed from the get go,and now in the 21st century they are a joke living in a big metropolis like new york they are a laughting stock and a shame on us non chassidic jews

Yochanan Lavie

I remember all the Schadenfreude surrounding the first priest abuse scandals: "Those stupid Goyim! Celibacy is unnatural. OUR rabbis marry; they have normal outlets for their sexuality. THIS would NEVER happen to US!" Abuse is power disguised as sexuality, not lust.


A culture that fails to protect its children is doomed to fail.



Shmarya, I will give you credit for bringing these issues to the attention of the public. But let's face it, the NY Times has a much wider circulation and more clout. Let's see if the NY Times does some investigative reporting regarding the costs of Haredi financial scandals and welfare abuse (both here and in Israel). So far, your web site does not seem to have brought many changes in public policy. But thanks to your reporting, one of my relatives has stopped buying Israeli bonds. I guess she has lost confidence in Israel's ability to repay its debts in the future. So have I. I am not running for political office. I don't have to be politically correct.

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