Wednesday, June 13, 2018

National Menace

Last week, I wrote about how Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro of Bayswater, Queens, is a menace to the nation in his role of producing eloquent, sophisticated videos and writings against the State of Israel. These influence thousands of people in the non-Satmar yeshivah community and are lapped up by countless non-Jews and antisemites worldwide. But it turns out that Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro is also a menace to the nation for another reason entirely: there are numerous reports of his being a serial predator.

For many years, I had heard rumors of this, but nothing concrete. Then, after my post about him, more detailed information came to light. Malky Wigder posted the following:
"In the last few days, I’ve been contacted by numerous people regarding a comment I had made on Facebook about a sexual predator rabbi. I’ve been asked for details, corroboration, why I don’t complain to law enforcement, why I don’t speak to politicians, why I don’t make this a stand-alone post.
To be honest, I’m tired. I’ve always been vocal and far from shy about publicizing my encounters with rabbis, askonim, educators, therapists, and other influential figures with access to vulnerable populations. I’ve talked about the corruption, the exploitation, the degradation, the impropriety, the creepiness, the betrayal, the trampling of ethics and boundaries both legal and moral. I’ve complained loudly about the sexual assaults, the date rape, the unqualified “help” that only hurts and traumatizes those who need protection and support.
I’ve named them. I’ve named the so-called victims’ advocates who refused to hear me and act. I’ve named the rabbis who ignored my complaints about their colleagues and buddies. I’ve even tagged some of them on Facebook.
It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. It’s depressing and infuriating.
But if it helps - and people I respect do believe it could help, here goes. I hereby give you my new series, posted publicly and with no apologies. Feel free to share. Feel free to pass along. Feel free to confront these individuals. And please, if you or anyone you know has been hurt or mistreated by these individuals, please add your voice, in public if you can, or privately and I will respect your privacy.
This is not about revenge, or personal animus, or payback for other harm these people may have done. Personally I’m so over all of this, it’s ancient history. I’ve moved on. I’ve adjusted my expectations of people like them. This is because these people are still out there, possibly hurting others, and I’ve been asked to speak up publicly in order to mitigate any further abuse.
Yaakov Shapiro is a rav in Bayswater, NY. I was an innocent and naive kollel wife in Lakewood when my then-husband heard him speak about chinuch and youth at risk, and decided to involve him in our marital issues. I was forced against my will to meet with him and speak to him. What followed was a series of very strange phone conversations, that got way too personal and improper, and culminated in him trying to engage me in phone sex. This happened several times. There was also an incident where I told him I was spending the night at a motel because I was desperate to get away from my husband for a bit. He showed up at the motel, saying he needed to talk to me, and proceeded to make very explicit sexual advances. I was too meek at the time to do more than push him aside and go to sleep. We did not have sex, and yet I believed the fact I let him in the room made me responsible. I remember the shame and guilt I felt the following day, as if I was the one who did something wrong.
There were several other instances where he contrived to be alone with me in his car, going as far as sending away my ride so I was stranded in Far Rockaway and had to let him drive me back. During those encounters he would drive to some secluded area and again try to kiss me, recline my seat, etc. He would also tell me about the young girls he hung out with, whom he was supposedly doing kiruv on, but what was going on was pretty nefarious and disgusting. I had the sense his wife was aware of all of this. If I remember correctly, he may have even said as much, but I can’t swear to it.
All of this, aside from being disgusting and traumatic to me, was also used against me by my ex and his family, as if I was somehow seeking this out and enjoying it. Never mind I begged not to have to speak to him. When I complained about him in order to be allowed to stop seeing him, he called me and cried about how they’re giving “him” a hard time, as if that was my fault too."

This report is credible. It is a detailed, sober account, not written with any view of personal gain. Furthermore, it is entirely consistent with reports by others. Following is a public statement from Rav Yosef Blau: 
"I have known about Yaakov Shapiro for more than twenty years. He taught in a Yeshiva High School for girls and was let go for inappropriate behavior with students, though wasn’t enough specific information to pursue it further. Shapiro played the anti-Zionist card claiming that he was attacked because of his ideology. Years later when he was “helping” at-risk teenagers through Frumteens on the internet and he was written up in Jewish Action I complained to the OU and again the answer was that he was been criticized because of his extreme ideology. He had been the rabbi of an Aguda shul and was fired there as well."

In the last week, several other women have come forward with accounts of Shapiro's predatory behavior. However, for understandable reasons, they are so far reluctant to go on public record. 
 
Unfortunately, New York has very deficient laws regarding legal recourse - child victims in New York have only until the age of 23 to bring civil or criminal claims. But publicizing and demonstrating Shapiro's crimes is immeasurably valuable in terms of raising other people's awareness of the danger that he poses, as well as giving solace to other victims.

If you are a victim of Yaakov Shapiro, please consider reaching out to Jewish Community Watch.  Failing that, please post your account as a comment to this post, using a pseudonym. If you would like to contact me via e-mail, I promise to respect your privacy.

And there's now a second reason for the rest of us to ask bookstores not to carry Shapiro's book.

96 comments:

  1. This is an extremely important post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. May G*D save us from alleged "True Torah Jews" like Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro of Bayswater.

    Any Jew who publicly condemns the world's only Jewish State is a pointless waste-of-time at best and rodaif at worst.
    ========================================
    Who are the Palestinians?

    https://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2018/06/who-are-palestinians.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alternative AngleJune 14, 2018 at 6:50 PM

      I applaud your lack of censorship and publication of differing viewpoints. Obviously the idea that a Jew should publicly support the Jewish State no matter what it does is not intelligent, but people should be allowed to say unintelligent things. When they begin to use coded words for assassination, however, I would urge reconsideration, especially on a website 95% zionist where the point is obviously not to change opinion but to rile up the committed.

      Delete
    2. You misrepresented the comment that you are criticizing. It spoke about people who condemn the State of Israel and you created a strawman that implied that it said that everyone must support the SoI. It's not the same thing. Jews who stand together with non-Jews and those that are antisemites and condemn the SoI (especially those who stand with Iran and others and deny the holocaust), are sonei Yisrael. If you need to condemn Jews, do it in private and don't wave the dirty laundry of Klal Yisrael around for the world to see.

      Delete
  3. If all of these accounts are true, it's very much like what Rabbi Slifkin said about the askanim who were leading the book ban: They try to compensate for their own deficiencies by being super-frum somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Trying not to be too cynicalJune 13, 2018 at 2:40 PM

    "There was also an incident where I told him I was spending the night at a motel because I was desperate to get away from my husband for a bit. He showed up at the motel,"

    Coincidence? How on earth did he find out which motel she was in? If she told him, why wouldn't this be construed as a subtle invitation?

    This little missing detail definitely knocks down her credibility a notch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "There was also an incident where I told him I was spending the night at a motel because I was desperate to get away from my husband for a bit. He showed up at the motel,"

      Coincidence? How on earth did he find out which motel she was in? If she told him, why wouldn't this be construed as a subtle invitation?


      Yes, telling a Rabbi who is supposed to be helping you what motel you are hiding out at to get away from your abusive husband is an invitation for (adulterous) sex. She's obviously a slut who was inviting it and now regrets it.

      What stupidity!

      Delete
    2. even if there was an invitation (maybe her husband told him) why did he accept?

      Delete
    3. You really don't understand how predators work. Or it could have been something as simple as there only being one, or a few motels, that she would have gone to, and he tried them all.

      Delete
    4. How many motels were there in Lakwood at that time? How many were in her neighborhood and cheap enough for a Kollel wife?
      Three? Two? Or one?

      Delete
    5. Be cynical all you wantJune 14, 2018 at 2:22 PM

      Assume for a second it was an invitation. Is he then welcome in polite Orthodox society?

      Delete
    6. Whether or not you believe Ms Wigder, there's no question about Rabbi Blau's veracity.

      Delete
    7. Gavriel M, I deleted your comment for several reasons.

      Delete
    8. Alternative AngleJune 14, 2018 at 9:22 PM

      I guess Gavriel's comment must have been worse than inciting murder?

      Delete
    9. "Whether or not you believe Ms Wigder, there's no question about Rabbi Blau's veracity."

      Really bad reasoning. R Blau himself admits to having totally screwed up the Lanner case and exonerating him improperly. Later he woke up to the fact that abuse really exists and admitted he screwed up. (I admire him for that.)

      By you reasoning, you would have believed that Lanner was innocent. Just because someone is a great Rabbi, doesn't make them right.

      In this case, I believe both Wigder and Blau, but not because he is a Rabbi and she is "just" an abuse survivor.

      Delete
    10. AA calm down. You can always become a Mohel, or Shochet to calm your apparent bloodlust.

      Delete
    11. Trying not to be too cynicalJune 15, 2018 at 1:58 PM

      I'm not saying there can't be an innocent explanation of how he knew where she was. But leaving out that explanation makes me suspicious that it wasn't exactly innocent.
      (Of course this doesn't make the rabbi showing up justified. Attempted adultery is still very bad. But it does makes him less of a predator.)

      Delete
  5. > And there's now a second reason for the rest of us to ask bookstores not to carry Shapiro's book.

    R' Waldman's book is still being sold in seforim stores. I wouldn't count on any pulling R' Shapiro's.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This report is credible
    How would you know? I heard credible reports from people who were kidnapped by extraterrestrials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lazar, if you think reports of extraterrestrial kidnappings are credible, then you may want to stop commenting on what is credible.

      Delete
    2. But, were those reports about them being kidnapped?

      Delete
    3. I'm also skeptical. After hearing accusations against Rabbi Shlomo Aviner some years ago, which proved to be baseless, I would like more solid evidence before passing judgment. Not that the woman is lying, but she could be exaggerating.

      Delete
    4. Just think about the implications of your argument.

      Delete
    5. @Yehuda P.: Worse than that, there are people on death row who have been exonerated. Does that mean that we should default to skepticism always about every accusation?

      Delete
    6. @David Does that mean that we should default to skepticism always about every accusation

      Maybe we should revisit Pirkey Avot (not to mention Chofets Chaim)?

      Delete
    7. @DavidOhsie. Yes, we should default to skepticism. But skepticism doesn't mean we don't take precautions and we don't show sympathy to the victim. We should be just as skeptical of the denial. But in terms of actually deciding in our hearts as to whether the person is guilty we ought to withhold judgment until all the evidence is presented.

      Delete
    8. @Lazar, Chofetz Chaim says that it is unlikely that a public accusation is a lie. He says therefore not to accept it unconditionally but instead investigate, because there may be some circumstance or detail which changes the implications of the story. The notion that one is not allowed to accept the story is a myth.

      Delete
    9. Investigate means at least listen to both sides. By default Pirkei Avot requires judging frum people favorably.

      Delete
    10. "Investigate means at least listen to both sides." He's not going to say anything until sufficient pressure is brought to bear. Your standard means that in cases of actual abuse, we do nothing as long as as the abuser ignores the accusations.

      Delete
  7. I have no idea if her story is true, but I must say that the fact that she posted very similar accusations against two different rabbis in the same week seems very odd...
    She just made the same accusations against Rabbi Ephraim Bryks as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not odd in the least, if you understand how women in vulnerable positions are very likely to be exploited.

      Delete
    2. R Slifkin is correct. She grew up Satmar, got an 8th grade Satmar education and was forced into an arranged marriage. She was told all her life to be subservient and later to return to her abusive husband.

      Delete

  8. I can only say, that I was personally involved in bringing some justice to many injured good people from Rabbis who are thieves. I'm no vigilante, I was a community leader who could not stand by and tolerate this behavior. In both cases I had come to know the Ravs involved very well first as a member of the community, then as a leader in the community, and as a close friend. It was through my community position and friendship that I came to know the rumors were true. When I realized the facts and saw the evidence, I took action. It was immensely painful for me and my family in each case. As you might imagine, a large number of the community rose up to defend these men and I was initially branded by some of them as a traitor. In the end the facts and evidence of the cases won out and I was vindicated, even held up as a hero by many.

    One of these "Ravs" finally got a ten year sentence in a criminal court, over a million dollars was lost by his victims. Unfortunately, I was the prime witness for the prosecution at his trial. In the other case, after I exposed the facts, the other Rav was swept away to be protected by a national Jewish organization familiar to all American Jews. He was given a new position where he repeated his behavior by stealing from that organization he was fired by them. He then repeated his bad behavior in yet another position. To my knowledge, he has never been prosecuted for any of his crimes. The cover-up continues.

    Having suffered this, one of the communities I'm speaking about was then beset by a sexual predator in a black hat within months after I had moved away to take a new position in another city. That "Rav" was known as a great Torah teacher and credible reports of his misbehavior had been circulating about him for twenty years. I heard rumors about him in from my old city, he finally moved on from there and eventually was exposed elsewhere, but not legally prosecuted. He was put in cherem and he moved on yet again.

    Bringing these criminals to justice is painful, but it must be done. New jobs, new cities and new victims is not the way of Torah or even goyish justice. I was a newly observant Jew when I encountered these "Ravs" I was very involved as a leader in my communities. All of this broke me in terms of community involvement. I no longer am involved in the community, I don't belong to a shul. I do consult Ravs for halachic questions, but I do not allow myself to become close to any of them. I'm not prepared to go through this with any Rav again. I'm also done with shul politics. Many people are driven away from observance by these kind of Ravs and the failure of the community to protect them and bring justice. Many people also left observance after justice was given, the pain was just too great. I understand, I was not personally injured by the crimes these Ravs committed, but after being forced by my principles to step in, my faith in the leadership of the Jewish world is severely damaged. I had no support from the leadership of the American Jewish leadership, they were lonely battles I don't care to repeat at my age.

    I don't have the answers, I fought the battles Hashem chose to bring me to. I pray that more leaders will stand up and do what is right and not run from the difficult challenges that bringing justice requires of them. I'm a combat veteran and former law enforcement official, doing the right thing is never easy but being a coward in the face of evil is not a choice. Leaders who run from doing what is right and cover-up these crimes will be judged for it by Hashem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for all you've done and spoken about here. But, of course "The cover-up continues." Even comment sections of websites people won't name names.

      How can the communities protect themselves if these names continue to be unnamed.

      It would seem that telling the public the names is l'to'eles because keeping these rabbis nameless is continuing the cover up.

      Delete
    2. Zedek zedek tirdofJune 28, 2018 at 3:56 AM

      As you protected Hashem's vulnerable may you merit His protection too.

      Though, after the fact that you've furnished many identifying details, I can understand why you allow "the cover-up continues" by not naming names. Once those rabbis are exposed your identity will inevitably be exposed as well and you can't (or understandably, won't want to) deal with this anymore. If only you could have phrased your comment by both naming the rabbis and concealing your identity a lot of good would've been done by preventing others from repeating the mistakes of those communities you referred to.

      Delete
  9. Only one complaint, and a seriel accuser... why dont we wait a little...

    ReplyDelete
  10. What do you mean, "the report is credible"? Credibility is assessed by a fact-finder hearing direct testimony and looking him or her in the eye, coupled with probing examination from the Judges, or in Western countries, from opposing counsel. We have none of that here.

    You say the report is "credible." Just on a surface reading alone I'd say its not. She says she "complained loudly about date rape" (!) and no one listened. So now she admits she was dating Shapiro?? Is that why she told him what motel she was staying in? Or is this a new and separate claim?

    She says she went to Rabbis - plural - even named them on Facebook, where the social media public would see it, yet they didn't listen. She says she even complained to "victim's right advocates" (!) and even they didn't listen. You understand a victim's rights advocate is someone who, by nature and calling, instinctively sides with someone making such claims. And yet ALL of these people, in the Facebook era where everyone is on red alert for such claims - none of them found her credible enough to act. Why?

    She says she was "forced against her will" to meet with him. You find that credible? Someone actually forced her, under threat of violence? Or did she merely agree to see him (as we all agree at time to do things against our preference) and yet she calls this being "forced". Does she understand the crucial difference between force and consent??

    Hey, I saw the Leib Tropper video - I'm under no illusions that professional rabbis are "above" stooping to the worst behavior possible. I don't know Shapiro from Adam, and I find his viewpoint repugnant. Maybe he's guilty of everything she claims. But unlike some people, I don't let my ideology interfere with my thought process when it comes to criminal accusations. Unlike some people, I don't blur politics with probity. And finally, I for sure don't rush to judgment, when the very FIRST teaching of Avos emphasizes the need to be slow and deliberate in such matters. This post, and allowing this completely unrelated issue to be mentioned in a comment, was a serious, serious error.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DF you seem very clueless about what things are like for a young, naive Satmar woman. And you also don't seem to have read the post properly. And it was about 20 years ago, so there was no Facebook etc.

      Delete
    2. And unlike you, at least Malky Wigder is brave enough to put her name to the statements that she makes.

      Delete
    3. She claims explicitly, "I've even tagged some of them on Facebook."

      You seem to have rushed to accept the one-sided claims of someone completely unknown to you. Her claims don't even have the appearance of being credible, much less can we say so for certain. In my line of work, I routinely see claims that are clear, detailed, and sober - and entirely false. Some claims prove to result from misunderstandings. A very small percentage are substantiated. This individual's claims may be any one of those three. Credible? I don't think so. At best its neither. And above all, it had no business becoming part of your political disagreement with Shapiro.

      Delete
    4. She is not completely unknown to me.

      You claim that the rabbis didn't act because they didn't find her claims credible. There are also other, more likely reasons as to why they didn't act.

      There is nothing remotely suspicious in her account, and it dovetails with other accounts of Shapiro, as well as other aspects of him, as discussed in my latest post.

      Delete
    5. DF, what percentage of rape claims do you think are true?

      Delete
    6. I highlighted at least three highly suspicious claims in her account. Closing your eyes to them doesn't make them go away.

      Delete
    7. DF: "Her claims don't even have the appearance of being credible".

      Why do they not have the appearance of being credible.

      "In my line of work, I routinely see claims that are clear, detailed, and sober - and entirely false."

      You deal with abuse victims whose SOL has run out and have no chance of recovering anything monetarily?

      Delete
    8. zak,
      "DF, what percentage of rape claims do you think are true?"
      common sense would indicate that it depends upon the circumstances, and the culture where the claim is being made. in situations where the cost of claiming to have been raped is low, and the secondary gain is high, false allegations will be more common, while in conditions where the cost is high and the secondary gain is low, they will be less common.
      from my own experience (as a physician) examining alleged rape victims, around 50% of claims are demonstrably false. however, that was in an inner city environment in the US, it may not carry over to environments that are very different.

      Delete
    9. DF you seem very clueless about what things are like for a young, naive Satmar woman

      I know quite a few Satmar people. You're clueless, they ain't.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous: "from my own experience (as a physician) examining alleged rape victims, around 50% of claims are demonstrably false." I'm skeptical. Can you give more details on your methodology? How is the sample that you are examining selected? How do you determine "demonstrably false"?

      "while in conditions where the cost is high and the secondary gain is low" In this instance the SOL has run out and she previous reported to acquaintances. No benefit. The psychic cost is high.

      Delete
    11. DF: Your claims were:

      1) There is no factfinder. To begin with the SOL is expired. Even in cases, were there is possibility criminal adjudication, it is often the case that nothing happens until enough of a fuss is made publicly to get the prosecutors to look at it. This is what happened with Weinstein (more than once; the first investigation did not result in charges). Same with Sandusky.

      2) "She says she "complained loudly about date rape" (!) and no one listened. So now she admits she was dating Shapiro??" You are extremely confused. She never said anything remotely similar to idea that she was dating Shapiro.

      3) "You understand a victim's rights advocate is someone who, by nature and calling, instinctively sides with someone making such claims." Unfortunately, this is completely false. Most of the frum supposed "anti-abuse" activists are actually there to help "manage" the problem for the frum community. Sometimes they want to do more, but their hands are tied by the Rabbis who will not refer cases to them if they cause problems. Sometimes the supposed "advocate" is a Rabbi himself who uses his influence to cover things up.

      Delete
    12. "I know quite a few Satmar people." So what? The fact that they are willing to talk to you proves something?

      Delete
    13. I highlighted at least three highly suspicious claims in her account. Closing your eyes to them doesn't make them go away.

      All you've highlighted is your lack of understanding of human psychology. As a trivial example, force need not include threats of violence.

      Delete
    14. david ohsie,
      the sample consisted of all women upon whom i was requested to perform a sexual assault exam (the so called "rape kit"), on average several times a month over a period of 3 years. demonstrably false was demonstrated to me by either the medical findings being incompatible with the story that was presented, or the patient making statements in casual conversation (sometimes with the physician, sometimes overheard in conversation with friends/family) that demonstrate that patient was knowingly lying about key facts.
      as this was an inner city environment, which has peculiar social features, it is not clear to what extant these observations would carry over to other environments. but common sense would indicate what i noted in my previous comment.

      i don't know why this should surprise you, people lie about things all the time when they perceive some gain in doing so, why should claims of sexual assault be any different?

      this was a general reply to the question of what percentage of rape claims are true. in this specific case i don't know enough about the parties involved to have an opinion regarding this woman's credibility. without more information than was provided on this blog, i have no reason to assume that the psychic cost of making this claim is high. possible motives for lying include revenge against an ex husband, revenge against a public figure whom she perceived as supporting her ex husband, revenge against her ex community, as well as seeking validation from her social circles. i would need to know a lot more about her lifestyle and state of mind at the time that she originally made these allegations, to even begin to form an opinion on what is the likelihood of her statement being true.

      Delete
    15. I'm skeptical because you are anonymous and because the number of "provably false" cases seems too high. You really didn't answer my question: how do you know which cases are false? What medical finding would tell you whether or not the woman was threatened or not threatened to have sex with a man? I'm also extremely skeptical that you "overhear" a very large portion of patients simply admitting that they are lying. In any case, if this is true, you should publish your findings immediately, since they are extremely important.

      "i have no reason to assume that the psychic cost of making this claim is high". This just shows that you know very little about the cost of making an abuse claim.

      Delete
    16. "Force" means violence or threats of violence, period.

      Delete
    17. @DF. Arguments by the use of the word "period" are neither substantive nor convincing.

      So a threat to take away your children is not "force"? If that is your definition, then there are lots of ways to coerce people into harm without "force".

      Delete
    18. david ohsie,
      i'm a little surprised that a well educated, broad minded, man such as yourself, is having trouble understanding what i'm saying. i'll try to give you some specific examples (based on actual cases that i was involved in) to demonstrate what i think should be easy to grasp.
      medical evidence: a young teenage girl is found to be pregnant. she swears (literally) that she was a virgin until she was raped by a neighbor 3 weeks earlier. she goes in to great detail regarding the episode, such that the date and time are very specific. the ultrasound shows her to be 4 months pregnant.
      overhearing: a group of women (often times women bring friends with them to such exams) is sitting and waiting on the bench outside the exam room. the alleged victim is heard to ask her friends "should i say that it happened in the park or on the roof of the building?" the friend answers "say the roof, there might be cameras in the park".
      re publishing: i assume that you are being facetious, what i'm telling you is not exactly news. anyone who has worked in this field in the inner city has had lots of similar experiences. if you are unaware of such basic facts, it might be best to avoid forming strong opinions regarding these things.

      "this just shows that you know very little about the cost of making an abuse claim"
      the psychic cost of making abuse claims, like so many other things, runs along a spectrum. for some people, such as those with borderline personality disorder, or people who expect to receive "support" from their social environment for being a victim, the "cost" of making abuse claims is positive. on the opposite end of the spectrum are people who very much want to be perceived as "normal" (which itself depends on social/cultural factors) for whom the psychic cost of making such claims is very negative. in between the extremes are the majority of people for whom there is a balance between the positive and negative aspects.
      one would have to know the person making such a claim very well, and over a long period of time, to judge with any confidence where on the spectrum a particular claimant would fall.
      in this case, we have not been given enough information to even speculate.

      Delete
    19. Ohsie:

      I'll keep this comment relatively short since my comments keep getting dumped, but

      1) Satmarers aren't like anglo-haredim. They are, basically, yobs; not a few of them have links to organized crime. A Satmar woman, still more a married one, who is being propositioned by creepy guys has plenty of options if she wants to take them.
      2) Satmarers are not prudes. Every married Satmar woman has a good working knowledge of the laws of Yichud and why there are laws of Yichud. The claims of naivity on the basis of her Satmar upbringing are just flat out wrong.
      3) Satmar women are, as a general rule, pretty assertive, not shy or retiring at all.
      4) Satmarers have strong, clannish families. She could talk to her father, brothers, brothers in law to 'sort things out'. She doesn't need to stay in a motel.

      Her story, as told, is obvious self-exculpatory fantasy. No-one, not satmarers, not anyone else but definitely not satmarers, innocently calls up someone who has repeatedly attempted phone sex and tells him she is staying over at a motel. People are falling for it fits in with their feminist myths about human sexuality and their fantasies about hassidic life. It's embarrassing, really.

      Delete
    20. The usual drivel:

      A Satmar woman, still more a married one, who is being propositioned by creepy guys has plenty of options if she wants to take them.

      She was abused her husband and forced to return to him. Your claim that she had many trusted people go to is your imagined reality. Comparing the claims of a woman vs a Rabbi, the Rabbi will win.

      Satmarers are not prudes. Every married Satmar woman has a good working knowledge of the laws of Yichud and why there are laws of Yichud. The claims of naivity on the basis of her Satmar upbringing are just flat out wrong.

      Young American gymnasts and swimmers are not prudes. Yet many were abused by coaches and the doctors. You know less than nothing about the dynamics of abuse. You don't have to be naive to be abused. While it is not especially relevant, Satmar women do not get extensive sex education.

      3) Satmar women are, as a general rule, pretty assertive, not shy or retiring at all.

      Typical absurdity. Satmar women will span personality types just like every other group of women. But what is important is that every Satmar woman in the closed communities is assigned a husband to marry at a young age and then forced to shave their heads. This would be abusive behavior in other communities, but they are taught that they have to accept this. If they decide not to continue to shave their hair, even with their husband's permission, the Vaad Haztnius will find them out and throw them out of the community. They are most certainly taught to accept the authority of Rabbis. In the event, Ms. Wigder did in fact, in the stories that I read, assert herself and did not submit to the attempted sexual abuses.

      "Satmarers have strong, clannish families. She could talk to her father, brothers, brothers in law to 'sort things out'. She doesn't need to stay in a motel."

      She was hiding from her abusive husband. Her family was not supporting her in this.

      If you want further evidence of Satmar submission to Rabbinic authority, watch this videos of a Rabbi abusing a child on camera with no repercussions:

      https://archive.org/details/VID20160501WA0003

      https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/satmar-issues-slick-pr-statement-about-the-video-of-rabbi-hirsch-and-the-child

      Delete
    21. medical evidence: a young teenage girl is found to be pregnant. she swears (literally) that she was a virgin until she was raped by a neighbor 3 weeks earlier. she goes in to great detail regarding the episode, such that the date and time are very specific. the ultrasound shows her to be 4 months pregnant.

      On the assumption that you are not simply making up this story, since you remain anonymous and can lie with impunity:

      Where in there is the proof that she was not raped? All you proved that she was wrong about the date her first sexual experience that could result in pregnancy. That can be because she doesn't know what kinds of activities can result in pregnancy (and it doesn't take penetration) or that she lied about the a prior consensual relationship or that she was confused about the dates.

      In addition, I'm not sure how this case is at all relevant to cases where a woman walk into the police station or hospital soon after an alleged rape to report or be examined.

      overhearing: a group of women (often times women bring friends with them to such exams) is sitting and waiting on the bench outside the exam room. the alleged victim is heard to ask her friends "should i say that it happened in the park or on the roof of the building?" the friend answers "say the roof, there might be cameras in the park"

      Yes, I can make up such stories too. The question is how often it really happens that people commit a criminal conspiracy in public.

      re publishing: i assume that you are being facetious, what i'm telling you is not exactly news.

      Great, this one is easy to check. Show me that study that says that 50% of rape claims presented at an urban hospital are shown to be false within say 24 hours of presentation.

      in between the extremes are the majority of people for whom there is a balance between the positive and negative aspects.

      Your ignorance is showing. Making an abuse claim exposes the claimant to backlash from the community of the abuser came from along with lots of defamation. In Wigder's case that has already started right here in this forum.

      Delete
    22. @anonymous: BTW, what is n for your study?

      Delete
    23. david ohsie,
      i think that this conversation has run it's course. once you resort to accusing me of making up stories, there isn't much that i can say that will convince you. which leads me to something that i'm very curious about. this conversation was an opportunity for you to learn something about a topic that you care about from someone who has direct personal experience in the field. yet you are very resistant to that, you keep insisting that my experience can't possibly be true.
      you seem wedded to 2 basic concepts, that women generally don't lie about being raped, and that there is a great psychic cost to making such allegations that is independent of the circumstances.
      i assume that you are aware that people lie about all sorts of things, and the more there is to be gained by lying, the more frequently people will lie. likewise, the psychic cost/benefit calculus of any assertion is both very individual, and dependent on the circumstances. why do you feel that this is a special category to which the rules of human nature do not apply?
      from where is this a priori commitment to a certain belief derived?
      if you care to share i really am curious about this, but if you don't want to share, at least think about it for yourself.

      Delete
    24. "it is generally agreed that, for about 2% to 10% of rape allegations, a thorough investigation establishes that no crime was committed or attempted"

      So 90% to 98% of claims are true.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_accusation_of_rape

      Delete
    25. Ohsie: Homosexual child abuse is totally different. Hasidim are very bad on this issue, largely because they don't want to deal with the reality that a significant percentage of them are homosexuals.

      More generally, try to follow a train of argument. Many people have pointed out that her story is implausible. A Rabbi from outside her community tried to initiate phone sex with her on multiple occasions, and her response is to call him up and tell him she is staying over in a motel because she is ... naive. Rabbi Slifkin claims that the story does make sense in the context of her satmar upbringing. I'm saying it makes even less sense in this context.

      It's painfully obvious that you know absolutely nothing about the dynamics of Satmar life ('vaad tznius' LOL) and you are bluffing badly. Maybe if you spent less time white knighting you would have more interesting things to do with your time than showering your piety all over the internet.

      Delete
    26. The Rules of Evidence were quietly changed in the 1970s (by judicial fiat, not legislatively) to prevent men from properly defending themselves in rape allegations.

      Just for one simple, but critical, example - in any other criminal matter one is allowed to introduce character evidence. Thus, if you are accused of assault, you can defend yourself by demonstrating the violent nature of the accuser and thus demonstrate self-defense. But because of the changed rules, you CANNOT defend yourself in a rape charge by showing the immoral character of the accuser, to demonstrate consent.

      This was all done very quietly and under the table, because people would go nuts if it was widely known, and it would never have passed by actual voting. Unfortunately, the only time people ever hear about it are when relationships sour and the female makes a charge. You have some people, amply demonstrated by a certain commenter here, who naively believe every claim a woman makes. There is a growing consenus of the need to make false charges punishable by jail time. Unless and until that happens, and unless and until the rules are changed back to the way they historically had been, you are going to continue seeing false claims.

      Delete
    27. @DF: "The Rules of Evidence were quietly changed in the 1970s (by judicial fiat, not legislatively) to prevent men from properly defending themselves in rape allegations. ... This was all done very quietly and under the table, because people would go nuts if it was widely known, and it would never have passed by actual voting."

      Aren't you an attorney? How can you state such bald-faced mistruths about the law? So-called "Rape shield laws" are well-known legislative creations both at the state and federal levels. <a href="https://www.ndaa.org/pdf/NCPCA%20Rape%20Shield%202011.pdf>Here</a> is a document that lists them out state by state.

      <i>you CANNOT defend yourself in a rape charge by showing the immoral character of the accuser, to demonstrate consent.</i>

      That is because so-called "immoral character" is not very probative on the consent front. Sexually active women can be raped.

      I have no doubt that women have and will continue to make false rape claims and there are people who have been falsely convicted of rape. No one is asking for the Rabbi or Doctor involved here to be put in jail based on a facebook post. She is trying to warn others about the danger and to make it easier for other victims to come forward.

      Delete
    28. @Gavriel M: I'm just going to discuss one point here which demonstrates on its own that you haven't got the first clue about Satmar society.

      You wrote "It's painfully obvious that you know absolutely nothing about the dynamics of Satmar life ('vaad tznius' LOL) and you are bluffing badly. "

      Quotation from this article:

      I knew we were in trouble the moment I saw the letter on the official United Talmudical Academy stationary in the mail. The letter was curt and stated unequivocally that because of my failure to dress in accordance with the stringent tznius, modesty, rules of the holy shtetl, our 3-year-old son could no longer attend school. After the shock wore off, my husband and I scrambled to arrange a meeting with the Va’ad Hatznius — the mysterious group charged with maintaining the highest standards of modesty, especially for women. The group was known to resort to extreme measures, such as slashing car tires, when warnings and threats did not work to restore modesty.

      As I sat at the table with the Va’ad Hatznius, the head of the group told my husband and me that it could no longer tolerate my modern clothing. This is a holy shtetl, and the rebbe would be horrified if he were still alive, he said in Yiddish, while swaying side to side in his folding chair. Another man chimed in to say he also heard that I have bei-hur, a derisive term used to describe hair on a married woman. They couldn’t confirm it, he said, but oy vey to my family and me. What a disgrace.

      I looked down at my dark shoes and thick beige stockings. How did the Va’ad Hatznius find out? It must have been the neighbors who saw a stray hair, who noticed that I wore the same turban all the time. It was the only turban I could find that would fit on top of the large, white knit kippah I bought in the hosiery shop, the type that Hasidic men wear to sleep at night, which held my mass of hair securely in place. I would spend many hours a day with these neighbor women while my children were playing outside. They must have ratted me out. Or, perhaps, the mikveh attendant reported me because I had been absent for more than a year. Since my hair had started to grow out, I had stopped making the monthly trip to the strict Kiryas Joel mikveh to do the ritual bathing after menstruation, as required by Jewish law. Instead, I went to a mikveh in Rockland County, N.Y., where women with hair are allowed to bathe. I knew that the Va’ad Hatznius was going to catch on to my secret at some point, and now it had.

      The group would send a woman to my house to check my head, the older man across from me said — all while keeping his right hand over his eyes to shield me from view. He spoke to my husband, never directly to me.

      Delete
    29. i think that this conversation has run it's course. once you resort to accusing me of making up stories, there isn't much that i can say that will convince you.

      Sure there is. State your name, credentials and where you worked. As it is, you can say anything with impunity.

      It would also help if you talked about how you began your study, how you compiled the stats, what "n" is and how many "disproofs" were overheard conversations vs. physical evidence, and why your conclusions are so far out of whack with previous studies and why you feel it is not worth publishing this surprising conclusion.

      As it is, you gave me one story about physical evidence which didn't demonstrate that the allegation was false.

      which leads me to something that i'm very curious about. this conversation was an opportunity for you to learn something about a topic that you care about from someone who has direct personal experience in the field. yet you are very resistant to that, you keep insisting that my experience can't possibly be true.

      It is possible that it is true. I am skeptical for the reasons mentioned above. Scientific conclusions are not established by anonymous anecdote.

      you seem wedded to 2 basic concepts, that women generally don't lie about being raped, and that there is a great psychic cost to making such allegations that is independent of the circumstances.

      I don't think that you 50% demonstrably false claim holds up. I don't know the percentages.

      There is great psychic costs to making abuse allegations. That much I have seen. Watch this for an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEjrha4Qglc.

      i assume that you are aware that people lie about all sorts of things, and the more there is to be gained by lying, the more frequently people will lie. likewise, the psychic cost/benefit calculus of any assertion is both very individual, and dependent on the circumstances. why do you feel that this is a special category to which the rules of human nature do not apply?

      I don't feel that way.

      Delete
    30. Srsly? You know about the ins ands outs of Satmar life, because you read an article by an OTD women in the 'Jewish' Daily Forward . I might as well say I know all about the ins and outs of gay life because I read an article by an ex gay born again Christian. Get a clue.

      Once again. Satmar has all sorts of problems, but deterring men from making unwanted advances on other men's wive's is very much not one of them.

      By the way, you made repeated references to her being abused. I didn't think this particularly relevant, since abusive husbands are quite useful for deterring unwanted suitors (that's one of the reasons [some] women like them). However, after rereading her totally-emotionally-stable-and-realistic facebook posts I didn't actually see any reference to abuse. How do you know this?

      Finally: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rape_on_Campus

      This happens all the time. You might as well argue that men don't rape women because it's gross and thus has psychic costs. Apparently your understanding of psychology is off.

      Delete
    31. Srsly? You know about the ins ands outs of Satmar life, because you read an article by an OTD women in the 'Jewish' Daily Forward.?

      Sorry, but there's no point in going further. There is a Vaad Hatznius in KJ (and other places) that enforces the hair shaving and other policies by kicking kids out of school and threats of violence. The article was the easiest thing to quote, but I have asked other Satmar to confirm it and been shown a letter from them. They were also referred to in the Nechemya Weberman trial (he was apparently a member of one). The fact that you not only didn't know about their existence, but thought it was ludicrous shows that you haven't got a clue. You have a lot to atone for on Yom Kippur this year.

      Delete
    32. I know of the existence of lots of va'adei hatzinius. What is ludicrous is the claim that these groups of elderly dorks wield tyrannical power, or, really, any power at all. That's just not how it works. Threats to kick kids out of school ... you're getting closer, though I've never understood why anybody actually considers that a deterrent.

      I can see why you don't want to go any further. I do now have a cute little image of you on Yom Kippur pounding your chest pledging to be a be better feminist. You can do it!

      Delete
    33. I know of the existence of lots of va'adei hatzinius. What is ludicrous is the claim that these groups of elderly dorks wield tyrannical power, or, really, any power at all.

      Your changed story is also completely incorrect. They can kick your kids out of school which means probable loss of community and job. They also use violence as you have already stated in other contexts.

      "threats to kick kids out of school ... you're getting closer, though I've never understood why anybody actually considers that a deterrent."

      I'm glad that you admit that you haven't got a clue as to what it is like to live in KJ.

      Delete
    34. "Threats to kick kids out of school ... you're getting closer, though I've never understood why anybody actually considers that a deterrent."

      You're not a parent are you...

      Delete
    35. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    36. "Threats to kick kids out of school ... I've never understood why anybody actually considers that a deterrent."
      If you knew anything about places like KJ, you'd know that there is only one option for school. Families who's kids are kicked out have two options - keep the kids home, or uproot their family and move somewhere else. Not to mention that kids who are kicked out of Satmar, and even those who leave of their own volition, usually have a very difficult time getting accepted in any other Chareidi schools.
      Those "elderly dorks" of the vaad are in fact out of control vigilantes will no oversight, who run amok terrorizing residents by breaking into homes, slashing tires, spreading pashkevillin, and so on.
      You are clearly very uninformed about what happens in places like KJ. I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you simply don't know the facts on the ground, but your last quip about feminism betrays your real agenda and reason for mischaracterizing reality.

      Delete
    37. Going backwards to the Forward articleJune 25, 2018 at 6:17 PM

      Assuming the “Tznius” anecdote true, relating it in chronological order would change the tone.

      A group of young holocaust survivors managed to immigrate to the US to rebuild their shattered lives. Separately, they came to follow the grand rabbi of Satmar/Skver/ Bobuv etc. in whom they found a wise and compassionate (and brilliant and saintly) father figure. He helped them find jobs, get married, set up schools for their children, and built a large community in which they were happy. At their weddings he told them, surely as a member of our community you will dress as we do. When their children came of age he told them, certainly you will be sending them to our school. In the school the teachers on orders of the grand rabbi encouraged a certain dress code (Satmar rebbe said not to enforce it; those who don't follow will eventually feel uncomfortable and leave on their own). Customs of Tznius were enforced. Overall the Chassidim had no problem with the rules. Life was great.

      But already out the outset, some survivors opted out. The rules were too much. Adios and au revoir . And the rest remained, as mentioned.

      In the schools, the pendulum swung away from new lows in society's pritzus such that newer unprecedented tznius rules were introduced. Old tznius rules, such as avoiding looking at a woman, were emphasized. Separately, men with men and women with women became tighter with each other.

      Fast forward half a century. These survivors averaged dozens and dozens of grandchildren. Most were happy with and accustomed to all the rules. A minority wasn't. Among them, the honest ones left. It was very expensive, their families never forgave them. Many were unprepared for the world outside. Others considering leaving, upon hearing how poorly those who actually left, fared, gave up on leaving. (The community, when it realized that preparing and educating the youth for the bigger world would help some leave, dug their heels in and refused to change "their curriculum”.) Others cheated a little. They kept reaping the community's benefits but ignored the rules. Some were caught by the Vaad Hatznius.

      General society evolved. As little as some 100 years ago gentile American inspectors marched down beaches with rulers measuring the distance from a woman's clothing till her knees, fining the violators. But no more. General society gradually disdained all forms of tznius. The cheaters found a general public happy to gobble up their stories, and they published them in the general press.

      (Proceed from here to the article.)

      Delete
    38. Going forwards then backwardsJune 26, 2018 at 4:38 PM

      Hooray - you gave the Satmar perspective. I don't see how it exonerates them. Did you think everyone assumed that they didn't have their own perspective? I'm not sure what your lengthy comment was supposed to show.

      Delete
    39. How does any of this explain why Satmar is so indifferent to their pure, modest women and girls being sexually harassed, molested and exploited? Why are they embracing someone like Shapiro, who by all accounts is a menuval, even those who give him the benefit of the doubt concede that at the very least he's a womanizer. Why are they not standing up for the honor of the women they work so hard to keep tznius? Not only are they not repudiating Shapiro, they embrace him, and show no curiosity whatsoever in getting to the bottom of these allegations.

      Delete
    40. Going backwards to the Forward articleJune 26, 2018 at 10:38 PM

      Did you think everyone assumed that they didn't have their own perspective?

      no.

      Delete
    41. Going backwards to the Forward articleJune 26, 2018 at 10:41 PM

      "Satmar", are you talking to me?

      Delete
    42. Going forwards then backwardsJune 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM

      Why so laconic suddenly? Do you care to explain how your comment is a limud zchus for Satmar?

      Delete
    43. Going backwards to the Forward articleJune 27, 2018 at 7:17 AM

      Why so laconic suddenly?

      Because your comment was so vague.


      Do you care to explain how your comment is a limud zchus for Satmar?

      But first, do you think I'm defending anything besides what's written in the Forward article.

      Delete
    44. @Going backwards: "He helped them find jobs, get married, set up schools for their children, and built a large community in which they were happy. At their weddings he told them, surely as a member of our community you will dress as we do."

      I don't know if this really happened, but it sounds really creepy. You help someone get started in life and then tell them "well you're going to have to start to shave your head now or else I'm taking it all back. What, you thought that I was doing this out of love?"

      I mean you do Chesed for Chesed, not because surely they'll take on your Chumros or else.

      I also question this "Satmar rebbe said not to enforce it". He created the system. You can't build a bridge and then when it collapses say "well, I didn't want it to collapse".

      Delete
    45. Going backwards to the Forward articleJune 29, 2018 at 6:50 AM

      @David Ohsie, cross the cultural divide and try to wrap your head around the possibility that a rebbe could impose chumros on his chassidim out of love. Many thousands of chassidim and non-chassidim managed to do that. On the other extreme millions follow Paul that only that "hateful creepy and vengeful" God of the old testament would have the nerve to say I'll bless thee if though stiflest thyselves with 613 burdens or else go to ----. And the bit that the Satmar rebbe said not to enforce it was lifted out of Satm'r Choos'd Rabbi David Meisels' biography of the SR which is also translated into English. He left his phone # in the book 718 946 9831 (Seagate, Brooklyn) so whoever thinks the story isn't true can call him up and explain to him why. The main thing is that either by nature or nurture the vast majority of chassidim don't bat an eyelash from all those chumros.

      ---

      Meanwhile commenters "Satmar" and "Going forwards then backwards" are quiet. My guess is that once I said I was only addressing the Forward article their comments melted away.

      Delete
    46. cross the cultural divide and try to wrap your head around the possibility that a rebbe could impose chumros on his chassidim out of love

      1) You can abuse people for many reasons.

      2) Why the euphemism "Chumros"? Throwing out my Chametz on Pesach instead of selling is a Chumra. We are talking about forcing young women into the trauma of shaving their hair off or be expelled from the only community that they have known.

      "And the bit that the Satmar rebbe said not to enforce it was lifted out of Satm'r Choos'd Rabbi David Meisels' biography of the SR which is also translated into English."

      So what? As I said above: He created the system. You can't build a bridge and then when it collapses say "well, I didn't want it to collapse".

      Delete
    47. "The main thing is that either by nature or nurture the vast majority of chassidim don't bat an eyelash from all those chumros."

      If so, then why do you need a goon squad for enforcement? A majority, btw, leaves a lot of people out.

      'Meanwhile commenters "Satmar" and "Going forwards then backwards" are quiet. My guess is that once I said I was only addressing the Forward article their comments melted away.'

      Satmar confirmed the Forward article was accurate. Not everyone is a glutton for punishment like I am.

      Delete
    48. Going backwards to the Forward articleJuly 1, 2018 at 10:36 PM

      trauma... collapse... goon squad... Satmar confirmed... etc.


      Who has time to correct such a litany of misunderstanding? For all your brilliance, you're clued in to Chassidim like some Rabbonim are clued in to science. Best wishes.

      Delete
    49. @Going backwards:

      I have no direct knowledge of Satmar and KJ. However, I have talked to people who grew up there and have been shown documents from the supposedly non-existent "Vaad Haznius". I believe that my understanding is correct.

      Delete
    50. @Going backwards:

      I have no direct knowledge of Satmar and KJ, since I am not Satmar. However, I have talked to people who grew up there and have been shown a document from the supposedly non-existent "Vaad Haznius". I believe that my understanding is correct.

      Delete
    51. Yes, there are goon squads and many punishing enforcement policies in place, for things like head shaving and driving. This is fact. I speak from personal experience and that of friends and family. The Forward article was accurate.

      Delete
  11. Natan, I think Shapiro has to be debated on the merits or lack thereof.I personally vehemently disagree with him.Since he is reviled by many, there are apt to be people who will look to besmirch him. I would not accept a one sided story so fast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should be kept separate but both are important. The narrative of "he is anti-Zionist and therefore he was attacked" doesn't match the facts.

      Delete
  12. Wigder was not a child when this OTD woman claims she was molested. She could claims to have been molested, as an adult, by three men. She lacks credibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Moe G: Sorry, but this reasoning is ridiculous adult women are often subject to unwanted sexual advances.

      Delete
  13. Now that I saw the bookJuly 29, 2018 at 7:22 PM

    The messenger should or shouldn't be shot, but the book is a wretched masterpiece, with sufficient damning information to change a reader's attitude towards Zionism way to the negative. See for example Herzl's disgusting essay about Maushel in the appendix. Except that people need idols. Where Gedolim can't be worshiped, Zionism will have to stay.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can someone post a link to this page, as a review for his book on Amazon,to make potential readers aware of his sordid background?

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

Dealing with the Deluge

It's that time of year again... so here is the slightly expanded version of my original post regarding the Deluge. Over the years I&...