Two weeks ago, Rebecca Pastor, a 46-year-old woman from Essex County, N.J., found out that the man she alleges raped her in Baltimore on Christmas Day, 1990, was not in jail, as she had long believed, but was living in nearby West Orange. And that he was passing himself off as a righteous rabbi…
Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week reports. My comments are in square brackets [ ]:
There's much more to read here.
Two weeks ago, Rebecca Pastor, a 46-year-old woman from Essex County, N.J., found out that the man she alleges raped her in Baltimore on Christmas Day, 1990, was not in jail, as she had long believed, but was living in nearby West Orange. And that he was passing himself off as a righteous rabbi amid concern he may be seeking vulnerable young women.
[Kaye may not be righteous, but he is an actual Orthodox rabbi (as the Jewish Week’s story eventually accidentally shows), and for decades leading haredi and Orthodox rabbis have known about Kaye’s alleged sexual exploitation and rape of women and have done nothing to stop it.]
Since then, with the help of several Orthodox rabbis [primarily Rabbis Eliezer Zwickler and Mark Spivak and YU Rabbi Yosef Blau] and a handful of congregants in West Orange, she has found information that strongly suggests David (Yeshaya Dovid) Kaye has a long history of complaints against him. The information portrays him as psychologically and religiously manipulating naïve and trusting women, seeking to use their deep faith in him to engage in sexual relations.
[Actually, the women had faith in God and Kaye used that trust to exploit them, and haredi and Orthodox rabbis allowed it to happen, moving Kaye from job to job, city to city, rather than calling police and warning the community.]
While the other women who claim to have been preyed on by Kaye have requested anonymity, Pastor, who said therapy has given her strength, plans to travel to Baltimore soon to meet with sex crime officials in hopes of seeing Kaye prosecuted.
Maryland has no statute of limitations for rape.
“I’m a survivor, not a victim,” she said, “and I believe in the motto that you can choose courage or comfort, but you can’t have both.”
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old New York woman who says Kaye convinced her in the past year that he had a nevua (religious prophecy) that she would suffer a tragic death if she did not “cleanse” her “neshama” [soul] by submitting to him, which she did for several months, is weighing legal action. She said she contacted members of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office earlier this year but they were unresponsive.…
[The rabbis helping Pastor] learned that Kaye, who is 50, married with five children between the ages of 6 and 18, and claiming to be a rabbi, had a series of stints in various capacities over the years. He was, among other posts, an Air Force chaplain overseas, nursing home chaplain in New Hyde Park, Jewish day school teacher in Long Island, and most recently pulpit rabbi in upstate Liberty. Those appear to have been short-lived and ended abruptly amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with young women. Kaye is currently unemployed and believed to be living at his parents’ home.…
[Again, Kaye is a rabbi unless proved otherwise. And you cannot work in the Air Force as a chaplain unless you have ordination, but Kaye did work as a chaplain in the Air Force – a fact Rosenblatt knows.]
Asked if Kaye was, indeed, an ordained rabbi, as he claims, and if so, where he received his ordination, the attorneys said he was, but were checking with him on details. They did not respond further as of press time.…
“[Kaye] knew my son’s name and said he had a nevua [or, prophetic vision] of my son in a casket, that he would die before he was 3,” Pastor said. “I felt like a deer caught in the headlights.”
She said Kaye sat close to her, a shy young kollel wife, on the sofa in her apartment — no one else was home — began muttering Hebrew incantations, and soon put his hand over her mouth and forced himself on her. After the sexual act, she said, he began to sob and apologize. Later, when she insisted he leave, he threatened that she would never receive a get or remarry or have children if she ever told anyone.
Traumatized and fearful of Kaye’s warning, she did not go to the authorities. Instead, she says now with bitterness, she “went the rabbinic route,” which led nowhere.…
“The most dramatic moment…was when [Pastor] said, ‘You raped me and I’m pregnant,’ and he [Kaye] immediately responded, ‘You have to get an abortion, I’ll pay for it.’”
She was not pregnant but she had come up with the plan to tell Kaye she was as a means of proving, from his response, that her narrative [of the rape] was correct.…
An affidavit from the late Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Cyril Harris, attests to several young women in 1989 saying Kaye was emotionally manipulative in trying to seduce them. A document from an Air Force colonel speaks of Kaye, in 1996-’97 in West Germany, attempting intimacy with her when she sought advice about converting to Judaism. A young American woman studying at a seminary in Jerusalem in 2010 described Kaye’s attempts to be alone with her, including telling her they knew each other in a previous life.
The most recent, and perhaps most bizarre, episode concerns a 28-year-old ba’alat teshuva (newly Orthodox woman), Chana (not her real name) from New York who came to know Kaye last year when he was in Liberty, and went out of his way to be helpful to her and her fiancée.
Last November, she told The Jewish Week, she received an e-mail from someone claiming to be an 80-year-old mekubal (a rabbi blessed with the powers of prophecy) in Jerusalem who said he had met her near the Kotel several years before. His message was that “I was in grave danger and needed to immediately contact a rabbi with whom I was close.” She said the content “was very frightening,” and she began receiving daily, persistent messages from him with increasing urgency about seeking help. Chana told Kaye about it. He said he could help her avert “this ‘grave danger’,” she recalled, and she came to believe him when he soon told her he had had dreams about her even before they’d met and that their destinies were intertwined — that she had saved his life in a past life and that he was now her protector in this life.
Kaye told her she was destined to die in childbirth and that the only way to avert this tragedy was to do teshuva (repent) by submitting to him physically, which she did over a period of weeks. She said she was “horrified” by the experience, but fearful that if she stopped she would be subject to the sad fate Kaye had predicted.
During that time, Chana says Kaye “admitted that he had basically raped” a woman seeking a get, or Jewish divorce.…
Now married to her understanding fiancée, Chana said she was naïve, trusting and psychologically manipulated by Kaye, whom she describes as “brilliant, and an absolute monster with no shame.”… One of the most “painful aspects” for her was discovering that Kaye’s colleagues and former employers “were well aware of his history and failed to warn subsequent employers and the public.
“If the leaders of the Jewish world do not take a firm and proactive stance on the issue of sexual predators, how many more lives will be destroyed? What are they waiting for?”
Rebecca Pastor says much of her faith was “shattered” not only from Kaye’s alleged sexual attack but from the unwillingness or inability of prominent rabbis at the time to express sympathy, help her in any positive way or act to protect future victims.…