Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Charedi Leadership Declares Moral Bankruptcy

It's almost impossible to do justice to describing the magnitude of the situation. 

As is well known, recently the immensely popular Israeli charedi author, Chaim Walder, was exposed by two extremely responsible journalists as having taken advantage of at least two women. Subsequently, it emerged that Walder - head of the Center for Child and Family in Bnei Brak - had taken advantage of his status to assault many women, girls and boys. A Beit Din in Safed led by Rav Shmuel Eliyahu heard testimony from twenty-two people - victims, rabbis and therapists - about a pattern of assault which had been going on for twenty-five years. And, if you know anything about such things, it's obvious that for every victim who testifies, there are countless more who prefer to remain silent. Walder himself heatedly denied all the allegations, but the overwhelming weight of testimony from such a wide range of people (along with recordings of Walder himself admitting to adultery) made it perfectly clear that he was guilty. He emerged as a horrific serial predator, ruining countless lives.

Now, every community has its monsters. Religious Zionism had its Motti Elon, Centrist/ Modern Orthodoxy had its Baruch Lanner, the US had its Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, the UK had its Jimmy Saville. There's nothing indicting of the charedi community for it, too, to have its share of such predators. And initially, the response was encouraging. Eichlers announced that they would no longer be selling his books. Yated Neeman, for which Walder had written a column for many years, immediately dropped him. Radio Kol Chai, on which Walder had a regular show, also dropped him.

And then Walder shot himself. And suddenly, everything changed. 

The charedi websites Kikar Shabbos and Bechadrei Charedim posted obituaries for Walder which praised him glowingly. Yated Ne'eman ran a prominent obituary which instead of stating Shem Resha'im Yirkav, stated Zecher Tzaddik Livracha!

But it gets even worse.

At Walder's funeral, a hesped was delivered by the head of the immensely respected organization Ezer MiTziyon.

Another hesped was delivered by no less a person than the mayor of Bnei Brak.

At the shiva house, the mourners were honored with a visit by none other than the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav David Lau. (Yes, the family are also victims - but he didn't honor the other victims with a visit!)

But it gets even worse.

Rav Gershon Edelstein - one of the most respected rabbinic leaders in the Litvishe charedi world - issued a statement that all the people involved in making statements and issuing condemnations of Walder are guilty of publicly shaming him, and said that this is a worse crime than forbidden relations.

But it gets even worse.  

Rav Edelstein further declared that all these people forced him to commit suicide, and are therefore also guilty of murder.

The message to all victims of sexual abuse in the charedi community, and to all those trying to help them, is clear. Shut Up. The predator may be hurting people, but it's much worse to shame him, and you could even end up being guilty of murdering an important, respected member of the community.

The message to predators is also clear. We've Got Your Back. It's already very difficult for any victim of abuse to speak up, and we will try to make it as difficult as possible.

The charedi leadership has declared itself to be utterly, terribly, morally bankrupt. If you are in any way associated with that community, then you either publicly protest it, or you are effectively complicit.

 

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155 comments:

  1. The house of the mourners is not wrong. They are victims aswell. The rest is horrendous but I am also seeing Rabbanim here and in America coming out in support of the victims

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    1. Yes, it's wrong if you're the chief rabbi and/or the family are not personal friends of yours.

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    2. @Yaakov, if the mourners are being treated as victims, as family members of a criminal, then maybe. But if they are being told that their husband and father was such a wonderful person then they are not victims.

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    3. Why would anyone sit shiva for such a depraved, evil individual??? This is Torah? Shame on the chief rabbi. He should step down.

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    4. The laws of Lashon Hara do not apply in this situation. When an armed individual goes on a shooting rampage, there is no requirement to take him to Bais Din before calling the police. Furthermore, it is not “Lashon Hara” to warn others to take cover. The individual in question was engaged in ongoing criminal activity of an extremely severe nature, and those aware of it would have been in the right to go to the police without first going to Bais Din. How much more so did they have a right to warn others.

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  2. Maybe you are wrong, Mr. know-it-all?

    There are two separate issues.

    No, the message isn't we go your back.

    The message is that despite everything, we can never forget about the rules of shaming another fellow Jew, something that you cry about regarding your own past suffering, but do not care about at all when it comes to other people.

    You look for any excuse to attack any Jew affiliated in any way with Charedim. You are the last person anyone should ever suspect of offering a balanced opinion on a topic such as this one.



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    1. You're absolutely correct. I do not care at all about shaming predators. You, on the other hand, clearly care much about predators than about their victims.

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    2. Walder did not commit murder because he was shamed by journalists or Rabbis Silman & Rabbi Eliyahu.
      Do I have to remind you of ancient history? It was on Sunday that the news broke that the police were investigating the allegations.
      Why all of a sudden did he decide to murder himself- only after there was a threat of real consequences? Because he could live under the shadow of mere suspicion. There would still be support from fans who would have been hopeful that the accusations were false. His books wouldn't have been banned but at the worst remain in sequestered limbo. And while there would be no career, there would be no jail time. (Consider how a deal was made for another predator to avoid police involvement.)

      All that changed on Sunday. It was the police investigation, not the rabbis or the press.

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    3. Do you remember Baruch Goldstein? After he committed 29 acts of murder, a small cadre of defenders argued that the horrified masses lacked the command of halakhic nuance to question, let alone condemn, the massacre. As if "Do not murder" needs halakhic nuance. Here we go again, this time from the haredi side: exonerating Walder by accusing his condemners of violating the rules of lashon ha-ra, making them the perpetrators.

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    4. @Rabbi Slifkin, kol hakavod for your response to Mr. Know it All.

      @Ephraim- I think you meant to write “because he could NOT live under the shadow of mere suspicion! Don’t know if you can edit.

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    5. nurse,
      You read it correctly. I used the words "shadow" and "mere suspicion" to allow for the plausibility of denial. But if the law gets involved, then you're talking about real publicity, the motivation for more victims to come forward and finally conviction & jail time. At that point there would be no more shadows or suspicion.
      I was only pointing out that the news stories & decisions by some rabbis were insufficient to cause Walder to take his own life.

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  3. "If you are in any way associated with that community, then you either publicly protest it, or you are effectively complicit."

    Or you are acting like Rav Alderstein.
    https://cross-currents.com/2021/05/10/from-yom-yerushalayim-to-meron/#comment-495184

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  4. You miss the fact that Rav Shmuel Eliyahu who is a Chareidi leader did not back down.

    He said he will not apologize and he stands behind the victims.

    I am pretty sure Edelstein comments were taken out of context.

    You find one Chareidi leader and turn it into a chareidi bashing session.

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    Replies
    1. Rav Shmuel Eliyahu is not Charedi. He is Dati-Leumi.
      Rav Edelstein's comments were not taken out of context.
      And plenty of others have said the same.
      Yesterday, charedi schoolchildren across the country were taught that the lashon hara spread about Walder was a terrible thing and led to his death.

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    2. None of my kids came home with that.

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    3. I don't think you understand the dynamics of the Sephardic world. We really don't subscribe to the Ashkenazi BS politics. Don't equate a Sephardic DL rav with an Ashkenazi one. They are worlds apart.

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    4. Oh, come on. You've never heard of thd Shas Party?

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    5. Edelstein's comments were taken out of context? Perhaps. But he is knowledgable enough, I would assume, to realize that possibility, and to make sure his comments were exactly what he wanted to say.

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  5. This was a great on-point post, until this line:
    " All you need to know about the charedi community today is that it's infinitely more acceptable to rape women than to ordain them. Or, to put it another way; if Walder had been giving heter mechira food to children, he would have been cast out, but since he only raped them, he was revered and protected"

    This is not true, and the exaggeration makes it easy for people to downplay your other correct points. I know chareidim who eat heter mechira, and in no way are they attacked. This stupid little bit of hyperbole killed the excellent non-exaggerated on-target sharp tone of the article.

    Erase it.

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    1. I didn't say "eat heter mechirah" - I said "give heter mechira food to children." There would be no Yated obituary saying "zecher tzaddik l'vracha."

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    2. But that paragraph is an unnecessary distraction, so I deleted it.

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    3. I know that it's impossible for me to make the following point without some people distorting and twisting my meaning and intention, and putting words in my mouth that I'm not saying. But I'll make the point anyway but first try to minimise the risk by saying clearly and in capitals for emphasis: IT IS FAR, FAR WORSE TO RAPE EVEN A SINGLE WOMAN (תרתי משמע) THAN TO ORDAIN EVEN DOZENS OF THEM.

      Having gotten that out of the way, I understand the point being made: that there would be an outcry against someone ordaining women, who would become an outcast, whereas Walder inexplicably has people - even some who accept his guilt - downplaying the episode (I'm not talking about the shameful laudatory hespedim).

      A partial reason may be exactly the point made at the start of this generally on-point piece. Walder is an individual sinner; it is possible (in principle) to often deal with such cases quietly. (I'm not saying that ought to be the approach, but sometimes it can in practice be done.) Whereas ordaining women - by its nature a public act and declaration of policy - threatens to undermine foundational principles and structures of the entire edifice of orthodoxy as presently construed, and therefore demands a strong, loud and public response. The differing types of response therefore have nothing to do with the relative seriousness per se of the individual acts or how they are "ranked" in evilness.

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    4. Unnecessary distraction, but absolutely true.

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    5. Yitz, I hear what you're saying, but praising people who are known to quietly be rapists is also a "declaration of policy."

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    6. It only needs a small tweak to be accurate. Had he fed the kids basar v'chalav, he would have been cast out...

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    7. Handling a rape case "quietly" is the worst way to approach it and is the primary reason why many of these perps continue their sexual abuse for years and sometimes decades. These are crimes of violence that affects its victims for a lifetime. Perps needs to be exposed publicly and locked away.

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    8. What should a frum Jew do when victimized?December 29, 2021 at 9:02 PM

      @zdub:
      So you are saying any halachic way of handling such cases which doesn't lead to widespread media exposure and eventual imprisonment is not valid?
      If so, what's an Orthodox Jew supposed to do when he or she is victimized by another Orthodox Jew? You advocate to just violate halacha and go straight to the reporters instead of a rav or beis din. Why?

      It may be uncomfortable for Orthodox Jews in the West to acknowledge, but I believe the halachic penalty for assaulting another Jew is monetary compensation and perhaps a restraining order. Not jail time.
      If Walder's victims wanted Torah justice, they should have stuck with Torah means of getting it.
      Since Walder's victims apparently chose to go down the path of non-Torah justice by going to reporters with their claims, then they committed a chillul Hashem and I don't see why they should expect moral support from the Torah observant community. They are getting plenty of it from outside the community.
      (This comment is not addressing the danger posed by the predator to the public--which may indeed justify involving the police. But again, a halachic authority should make that call too.)

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    9. Rabi Slifkin, I normally do not agree with much of what you write about the chareidi community, but you absolutely should have kept that paragraph in. I don't believe they are leading Israel to an economic disaster, but their representatives and leaders regularly use horrible language and invectives against those who are not "in the camp". The public anger directed at Walder is (at least) no less justified than the vitriol large elements of the chareidi community put out against anyone they disagree with. In this case, the Motti Steinmetz Keren Hashevi'is video comes to mind, with its portrayal of a dati Shylock who forces a chareidi farmer to rely on heter mechira. There will be no such songs or fundraisers for Walder's victims, because, as you said, he "only" raped them instead of "tainting their neshama" with heter mechira food.

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    10. Rabbi Slifkin, I totally agree with all of David's words, but I think it would be best to keep the distraction out, and maybe make a separate post about that.

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    11. I suggest to change the problematic paragraph in the following way: "it's infinitely less unacceptable to rape women than to ordain them".
      The positive word does not fit the connotation.
      Indeed, it is unfortunate truth: rapes occurred, occur and will occur in some rate, due to human nature. In contrast,
      not only ordaining of women challenges the traditional social order, it is baseless and its only reason is to fit Tora to the current goyish standards.

      (Woman can learn Tora, obtain the wisdom and be requested by particular men to be their judge. Ordaining is something different.)

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  6. This is the letter that I sent to Ezet Mitzion this.morning
    מר חנניה צולק
    נא להסיר אותי מכל רשימות התפוצה שלכם.
    אם יו"ר הארגון שלכם יכול להספיד לחיים ולדר, שפגע בנשים וילדות ונצל אותם, ולא חזר בתשובה אלא גם במותו ניסה לשנות את הסיפור ולהראות שהוא חף מפשע, אני לא יכולה לתמוך בארגון שלכם. אני תומכת בקרבנות של הסיפור הזה. אין ערך להגן על פושעים. יש ערך להגן על נפגעים וחבל שהארגון שלכם לא רואה את זה.
    במיוחד האוכלוסיה החלשה, כגון אנשים עם צרכים מיוחדים ואנשים שתמודדים עם מחלות נפש, צריכה אנשים שיגנו עליהם ויהוו גב חזק לתמוך בהם. הגנה בבן אדם שפוגע ויש עליו עדויות קשות מיותר מ22 נשים וילדות זה הזוי למי שמייצג ארגון שאמור לתמוך באוכלוסיות חלשות ולעשות חסד .
    כל המרחם על האכזריים סופו שיתאכזר על הרחמנים.
    בתקווה לבשורות טובות,

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  7. My children practically grew up with his books, and always anticipated the appearance of another volume of "Kids Speak" (in Hebrew--ילדים מספרים על עצמם).

    I can't comprehend how a person can write for children, counsel children, and yet at the same time do unspeakable damage to so many children, and somehow keep it private, without the truth getting out somehow.

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    1. Okay, but I think it's correct to say that his books started a revolution in books for Charedi children--much more accessible than stories about tzaddikim and the like. He was more influential than the two creeps you mentioned.

      Also, these accusations go back 20 years. How can he go through 20 Eluls and Yom Kippurs without feeling any need to rectify what he had done? It boggles the mind.

      A friend of mine put it this way: Since a lot of the content that he wrote was fictional (he embellished the children's versions of their own stories quite a bit), he sort of lived in a fictional world himself...

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    2. Yehudah,
      Reverse your well-founded astonishment: In order to easily groom their victims the predators need those skills which you mention. Perhaps, it would be more incomprehensible that a person who can't communicate with & counsel kids would be able to do such things.

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    3. You have no idea how influential Lanner or Saville were.

      Answer: Each far, far more than Walder.

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    4. It's genetic, he couldn't help himself. The only solution for these predators is to kill them in an extra judiciary manner. שמעתי שבית דין אנשים שלא מן הדין. Sforno thinks that this is the meaning of עשו סייג לתורה.

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    5. This sounds like predestination which is a Calvinist idea. Jews believe in free-will. I for one reject it.

      Furthermore the use of the term genetic is pseudoscience. It dresses up a prejudice as science.

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  8. I owuld note that Rav Aviner, from the D'L world, was not any better.

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    1. The investigation of Rav Aviner concluded that he was innocent of any sexual abuse.

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    2. In short, Rav Aviner says that Walder was the subject of a public lynching. We must consider Walder innocent since he hasn't been proven guilty in a court of law, and so we may read his books.

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    3. Oh, I'm sorry--I thought Yehoshua was talking about the alleged sex scandal accusations vs. Rav Aviner himself. He was acquitted of that, and the police dismissed the case.

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    4. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a principle that only appliies in the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, people must use logic and intelligence to arrive at conclusions. This is self-evident — would you hire as a babysitter someone who is on trial for child abuse but not (yet) convicted?

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    5. What should a frum Jew do if victimized?December 29, 2021 at 10:24 PM

      There are plenty of ways the victims could have made the chareidi public aware of Walder's dangerous behavior without going to Ha'aretz. They could have put up pashkevillim and published warnings in frum print media.
      If they wanted chareidi support and sympathy, they should have stuck to the chareidi beis din system.
      Since they wanted non-chareidi justice, they need to settle for non-chareidi sympathy and support.

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  9. Can't there be a grey zone here? Rav Edelstein is not necessarily saying that the case shouldn't have been investigated. He may be castigating people who got involved unnecessarily and added fuel to the flames.

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  10. As for obituaries, until a pesak or verdict was reached he had a chezkas kashrus.

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    1. Thank you for providing further evidence of the moral/intellectual rot in the charedi world.

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    2. See as well Rav Aviner's identical response from the dati-leumi world.
      I would hope he's an exception.

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    3. Rav Reuven Nakar (member of Rav Eliyahu's beis din) said that CW had lost his חזקת כשרות. There are just too many people who have come forth with accusations. He was summoned to the beis din, and refused to appear.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsmxzgncXmY

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    4. Rabbi Walder was a good person. He wrote wonderful books. Although he was involved with and did tragic things, we should not hate him. It's against the Torah to hate him.

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  11. Now you are condemning Rabbanim from making Shiva Visits??? The purpose of a shiva vist is to comfort the mourners, who are natually in a bit of distress, not testify anything about the person who died

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    1. I don't remember him visiting me when I sat shiva.

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    2. In a case like this let the family and friends provide support -- why should prominent rabbis drop by? Plus, in normal circumstances the comfort for the mourners is by hearing testimony about the deceased's good deeds. How exactly were the mourners comforted by the visiting rabbis?

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    3. Zev is correct. The surviving family members are very likely victims themselves. Through no fault of their own, the rest of their lives will never be the same. Put yourself in their shoes and perhaps you'll update and recant. Otherwise, everything else you wrote hits the mark - unfortunately.

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    4. There's lots of people who are victims of all sorts of terrible things and people. But Rav Lau does not visit them.

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    5. Zev and Anonymous are wrong.

      It's morally bankrupt to comfort mourners who are children of a Roshoh

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    6. @Baal Ha Boss
      The mishna in Sema'hot says although we don't give hespedim to people who commit suicide (ironically, the reason is that they DON'T have a part in the world to come), we do everything for the living, shura or ni'hum aveilim.
      I don't see why it should be different for other sins.
      I don't want to discuss who Rav Lau should visit or not, but your last sentence is wrong.

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    7. I said 'morally'.

      Think about it.

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    8. Yes, there is a moral obligation to comfort the family of the rasha for people who can. They are victims as well.

      The debate was about the chief rabbi, who is a public person and whose moves can be interpretated as something radically different. I do not believe I have anything worthwile to say on that question.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. "There is a certain logic to this - while alive there was the danger he would commit more crimes, but now that he's dead he can't."
      Yes, but praising him in his death will cause further damage to the victims, compounded with losing the opportunity to see him stand trial and pay for his crimes. He was a vile, evil man who used his position as a leader and a helper to hurt people. His actions should be condemned.

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  13. R. Edelstein's invocation of "one who embarrasses another in public has no share in the World to Come" in this case is remarkable. It would prevent ever bringing any criminal before a court on the grounds that the defendant will suffer public embarrassment.

    As R. Osher Weiss writes regarding a case when an employer suspected an employee of theft: "It appears obvious that when there is a reasonable suspicion of theft, there is no prohibition at all of embarrassing another [in public], for would it be forbidden to stop a thief in the street or to save the oppressed from his oppressor in order not to embarrass him [in public]?" (Minchas Osher, Bereishis, 53:4)

    The charedi establishment's reaction to Walder's death seems so different from its initial reaction to the allegations in Haaretz, with him being "cancelled" by the Yated and others. So what changed with his death? Is this internal Bnei Brak politics centered around the authority of R. Sillman? Is this a message to R. Shmuel Eliyahu's new anti-abuse beis din (and to those who might appeal to it in the future) to keep their noses out of internal Bnei Brak business? It's very, very sad.

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  14. At first I was a bit confused by the parting letter, in which he again denied all allegations. But then I heard the recording, in which he tells the woman to deny everything, and that he would deny everything even if they would both be caught together in a photo, and that he's ready to shoot himself if the affair becomes known. And then I realized that he did exactly what he said he would do in the recording: He denied everything and shot himself

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    1. This is the recording: https://youtu.be/AzkCCIHQhmw

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    2. where is the recording available?

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    3. Thank you @Gabriel
      But if you listen it carefully, you may notice that this is not an one speech, it is compilation. Any of these phrases might have different meaning according to their respective context.
      (Indeed, a fact that this evidence is forged does not prove CW innocence!)

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  15. Rabbi Sholom Kaminetzky calls him a Rasha https://twitter.com/RabbiPoupko/status/1475912002610642948
    Ash

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  16. Rabbi Slifkin: we are all extremely disturbed by Walder's apparent double life, the fate of his victims, and the situation with Rabbis Edelstein and Aviner.

    That said, you are presuming that Walder's guilt is known and assented to by everyone, and that the defenders of Walder's reputaton are duplicitous. This is not the case. As we saw with Moti Elon, there is a period of denial, bargaining etc. til people can accept shock of this nature.

    Moreover, the basic issue here is why do Rabbis Edelstein and Aviner not accept the assessments of R. Silman and R. Eliyahu's Beit Din. In particular, R. Aviner seems to state that the Beit Din did not actually speak to the 22 victims - which is contrary to what has been reported about the Beit Din and is significant if true.

    You might continue to claim that Rabbis Edelstein and Aviner are simply being political, overly legalistic, deferential to power, or insufficiently concerned about a respected man actually being a dangerous charlatan and abuser. But you should at least acknowledge that Rabbis Edelstein and Aviner claim that the accusations are not known to be true.

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  17. Do you have a source for what R Edelstein is purported to have said? The text you have here is someone saying what R Edelstein said, and without giving clear context to it. Why should you take that as having any validity?

    I heard R Eliyahu on the radio strongly encouraging victims to speak up and being very clear about CW's lack of moral standing. And R Eliyahu said that the leadership of Bnei Brak (charedi) were very supportive of him (of R Eliyahu) in his dealing with the case.

    And why are you assuming that R Lau hasn't had contact or is offering support to victims?? On what basis do you say that he hasn't??

    Your analysis of the situation is very selective and that allows you to draw a warped conclusion and deride and spread slander against a large section of your Jewish brothers and sisters.

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  18. I don't understand why "Beit Din in Safed led by Rav Shmuel Eliyahu" should be taken seriously. As far as I know, the present days "batei din" behavior has nothing common with any standards of justice, including those set by our Sages.
    History is full of cases of false rape claims, starting from the prominent wife of Potifar.
    Plus, remember that a man in position of Walder naturally obtains too many haters.
    Plus, please remember that Walder treated women and girts with psychological problems so their testimonies should be treated with extra caution. Are there any evidences besides their words against his word?
    There are 22 women testimonies? I believe a number of rabanim who testified about RNS heresy in front of their respective audiences exceeds much the number 22.
    Conclusion: dear RNS, I am afraid you make a grave mistake.

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    1. "Plus, remember that a man in position of Walder naturally obtains too many haters."

      Who? I thought he was widely admired across the spectrum. Can you cite any negative material against him from before November 2021? (And no, the Brisker RY's attacks against Walder don't count.)

      "I believe a number of rabanim who testified about RNS heresy in front of their respective audiences exceeds much the number 22."
      You're being very silly.

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    2. The Badatz banned him a year and a half ago.

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    3. Dear Brodsky

      Your last sentence undoes you.

      Indeed R Slifkin was maligned my far more ppl than Walder was. And by far greater ppl.

      Yet he fought to clear his name.

      When Walder shot himself he lost any vestige of innocence.

      The fact that people like you defend him says a lot about your intelligence.

      Delete
    4. 1. I was told that Etzniks hate CW much. But it is should not be a specific stream. Any well known man naturally has both lovers and haters.

      2. Agree, CW is evil, is guilty of murder, he lost any vestige of innocence and hardly has a part in Eternity. However he lost the vestige after he committed the suicide. He still retained it when the rape/molestation cases where claimed to happen.
      3. I don't see any reason why CW would be obligated to accept the rav Sh.E. court upon himself.
      4. I don't see any right of the rav Sh.E. court to proclaim CW as rapist and molester, although they clearly have a right to proclaim him as a dangerous and suspicious.
      4. I don't defend CW. I do attack Sh.E. and those who blindly follow him.

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  19. 1. R David Lau is hardly a haredi leader. Is not more than a Rav mitaam.
    2. R Edelstiens instructions are both wrong and dangerous in many ways.
    It also misuses the concept of המלבין פני חבירו. Rambam is clear that this is referring to someone who does it often. So it's a misunderstanding. Besides, the need for public to stop horrible things from happening clearly outways any other issues. I don't see a lack of slamming in haredi press of politicians on opposing sides.
    4. Reading the yated article, between the lines, for a haredi, it was a less than glowing obituary. Still, they shouldn't have written any of it.
    5. I really hope no too tier rabbis or leaders go to the Shiva. If they want to console the family, a phone call will have to suffice.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here in the US I feel that we're literally hearing soundbites as none of the regular chareidi news websites reported his death or the circumstances surrounding it. We also haven't seen any or heard any hard evidence save for a quote or two from R'Eliyahu.

    What I find hard to understand however, is how so many terapists and other concerned persons who were involved with victims for so long couldn't collaborate and bring out this story much earlier. 25 years of abuse- and not one of these very well meaning people did anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do predators choose their victims? Yes. Would they choose victims who would speak up? No.
      Keep in mind that these victims were in therapy with Walder. They would have to reveal that they've been in therapy.
      And when was the last time when a predator was outed only after months of crimes and not decades?

      Delete
  21. The Rav Edelstein comment is rather suspicious. He talks about אשת איש- and from the narrow context alone, it's as if he's talking about someone who committed the sin just once, and not habitually. Certainly, the accusations against Walder go beyond just consensual אשת איש.

    The statement attributed to RGE do not address the facts in this case. It should be ignored.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Genuine Question here;
    Isn't the Halacha that if someone commits suicide there is no levaya, shiva, hespedim etc..
    I know that majority of cases today are considered "cholas nefesh" and therefore there is a levaya and shiva is observed. But this wasn't a case of mental health issues, it was a calculated move to avoid paying the price. ie he did an Epstein !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent point. And it's an observation, not a question. Walder was so revered that it was unthinkable to rate this as a suicide. So the narrative had to be that he was "forced" to do it because evil people "made him crazy."

      Delete
    2. Genuine answer: The actual practice is that in almost all cases of suicide, the laws of aveilus DO apply.

      And the reason is obvious.

      If you look at the actual halacha, it's very clear that in most cases, and certainly this one, we cannot be sure "it was a calculated move". In most cases, we can't even be necessarily sure, by HALACHIC standards, that it was a suicide. And therefore me'abed atzmo l'daas isn't applicable. See the actual halacha in SA, see the Pischei Teshuva, see the Chasam Sofer.

      Delete
    3. Was it calculated? Well, considering there is irrefutable evidence of an audio of Walder himself declaring that were he to be exposed, he would shoot himself .. I'd say that's pretty calculated.

      Delete
    4. Chasam Sofer says such a case is still not me'avaid atzmo l'daas. And the practice is to have aveilus for basically all suicide cases, even where there is some prior threat. May it never happen to us.

      Delete
    5. This Chasam Sofer is very debatable for obvious reasons. No one gets up in the morning wanting to commit suicide without being in a very debilitating depression.

      Delete
  23. I love seeing the Charedi apologists come out of the woodwork, completely unable to declare what is so obviously so.

    Some ratted out their neighboors and some hid anne frank. Nice to know who's who.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1. Is there any actual evidence of a great shaming of Chaim Walder? Has it occurred to anybody that he was ashamed because it got out that raped and molested dozens of women and children? Additionally, in the chareidi world, shaming people is actually a fundamental feature and method of social control in their society. Since when do they care about that?

    2. Anyone who believes that shaming someone in public is worse than raping a woman or molesting a child is an absolute moral idiot.




    ReplyDelete
  25. Unfortunately in many Charedi circles everything is muttar except for chilul Shabbos and Zionism. Violating bein adom lchaveiro is a non issue.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Quick Addendum - getting raped or molested is also pretty embarrassing. Just my own theory.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Most comments I have read mention Loshan Hora and that the Bais Din didn't prove anything and that the police should have proven in a court of law that he is guilty.
    What no-one mentions is that the police didn't become involved as not one single victim approached the police to make a statement, as it's not allowed. Their own children are expendable.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm a chusid, chaeredy and ashamed by our inept leadership, we've got predictors like all societies, no worse, perhaps no better, but we have chosen to make it 100 times worse by allowing predators to go on killing neshomos for decades (like Yehuda Mesi Zahav, Chaim walder, Eliezer berland, all these men's actions were an open secret) and instead of have 1 or 2 victims and then being stopped by going to jail or placed on a sex offenders list and being removed from access to children they now have 100's. but thats not bad enough, we still stick up for these monsters while forgetting and re-shaming the victims.

    we have become Sedom in every sense of the word,

    We are worse then any other society! instead of being a light to the nations, we have become a benighted dark spot where we fight light from seeping in... we can barely follow the moral compas of secular Jews and Goyim and work to stop rape!. that is bad.

    How utterly embarrassing, shockingly so. one more nail in the Cheredi coffin.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You take it for granted that he was guily of the accusations. The Charedi internal world don't see it that way. You are asking them to judge him through your own lens. Which is wrong.

    What did surprise me was their glorification of a high profile suicide. I'd be glad to hear your tirade against that.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This letter was written to teachers regarding his suicide and how to handle it in the classroom. His focus was NOT on people going to authorities or even parents discussing it with their children.

    It is clear that he was talking about the expose in Haaretz which publicized his behavior, which pushed him to kill himself.

    It was not whitewashing his behavior, since it was not focused on the crimes, but was giving guidelines to teachers on how to deal with the suicide of their student's "hero".

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ahh it's always nice to visit this beis vaad lsonei Yisrael.....
    As usual, some good points and plenty of unnecessary and inaccurate ones from the Rabbi.
    But the responses.....those are the best.
    Anyway, just like the kids speak books, I don't judge the museum by its founder and I look forward to my next visit

    ReplyDelete
  32. Video of the funeral: https://all-world.news/125711/

    ReplyDelete
  33. What should a frum Jew do if victimized?December 29, 2021 at 10:17 PM

    "The charedi leadership has declared itself to be utterly, terribly, morally bankrupt. If you are in any way associated with that community, then you either publicly protest it, or you are effectively complicit."

    This is an absurd false dichotomy.

    Imagine if someone said: Almost all Kashrus orgs sanction factory farming methods which are unspeakably cruel to animals. If you are in any way associated with the kosher food community, then you either publicly protest it and refuse to eat any of their certified products, or you are effectively complicit in their cruelty.

    Or this:
    The halachic reality is that a recalcitrant husband has immoral control over the divorce process. If you are in any way associated with the halachic community, then you either publicly protest it, or you are effectively complicit.

    See what I mean?
    There is a middle ground.
    I think you can believe Walder was a predator and deserved to be ostracized from his community, be exposed as a danger to the public in the chareidi media, and be forced to compensate his victims for their pain and suffering. That is was should have happened in this case.

    But Walder's victims didn't let that process happen. They went to Ha'aretz reporters to get the whole world to see our dirty laundry. So now the chareidi community was forced to circle the wagons...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ONLY way that anything gets done with these things is when it gets out via the non-charedi media.
      And the charedi community was not "forced" to circle the wagons. That was their choice.

      Delete
    2. What should a frum Jew do if victimized?December 29, 2021 at 11:10 PM

      That's simply a lie. Plenty of abuse cases have been handled competently by botei din. By "anything" you mean widespread shaming in the secular media and prison, so you are making up your own standard of what is effective handling.

      And you didn't respond to the false dichotomy.

      Delete
    3. "Plenty of abuse cases have been handled competently by botei din"

      Name one?

      Ash

      Delete
    4. "Name one?"
      Elon. Until he violated the terms he agreed to.
      (Okay, not one. But a half?)

      Delete
    5. What should a frum Jew do when victimized?December 30, 2021 at 8:55 AM

      The Chicago Beis Din of Rabbi Fuerst etc, got Elimelech Meisels to confess his sexual violence, sell his seminaries, and stop teaching girls.
      Some victims weren't satisfied and went to civil court with lawsuits. But that doesn't mean the beis din handled it wrong.

      Delete
    6. Rosh Yeshiva Ketana in Kiryat Sefer. Pushed out using a lot of pressure by the local Rabbonim, despite his resistance. It was handled internally, without media fanfare - BECAUSE it was handled locally. But that just amplifies the problem of Walder being ignored till the secular media got to it.

      Delete
    7. Great. So it was handled locally and quietly. And he was pushed out. And he probably moved to another town and started doing the same thing again. Because nobody knew that he was dangerous.

      Delete
    8. Please don't assume when you have NO details and no NOTHING abut the case. Yes, this kind of thing happens many times that someone who gets pushed out just goes to a new town/school But that charedi community doesn't have a monopoly on it. Ask the MO schools in the US how many predators they hired w/o know they had been sent away from other other MO schools. But mercy on the perpetrator/family is an "equal opportunity employer" spanning the gamut. And the "free pass" given these people because of the good they do also transcends communities. How do you think NCSY people justified ignoring the repeated complaints about Lanner? The DL world about Moti Elon. Et al

      Delete
    9. As I said, it happens in every community. But the difference is that the other communities have a free press that reports it.
      Also, have you noticed that the only voices in the charedi world taking a strong stance against Walder are those on the far-left of the charedi world? Rav Adlerstein, Rav Eisenman, etc.

      Delete
    10. What should a frum Jew do when victimized?December 30, 2021 at 2:31 PM

      Notice you didn't respond to being called out on your absurd false dichotomy.

      Delete
  34. A while ago the UK Jewish Chronicle published an opinion piece by Daniel Greenberg suggesting Charedism was a new religion with a different moral code to that of Torah observant Jews. He was pilloried for it by the Charedim, but the response of many Charedim to the Walder Affair(s?), shows that he was probably very correct

    https://www.thejc.com/comment/opinion/the-lifestyle-of-many-charedim-has-become-incompatible-with-judaism-1.511292

    ReplyDelete
  35. For 25 years WHERE were the guardians of Torah and modesty?

    If they only pursued this man.... this author... with but 1/60th of the energy they pursued R Slifkin 2 decades ago....

    And who endorsed the leading pages of these books? Where was the Daas Torah?

    And Haaretz had to bring this forth? Good for them. Even the most anti religious still does the bidding of Master of the Universe. How deaf and blind are the rest of us as we simultaneously pat ourselves on the back for our wonderful families and communities?

    The true judge of the world knows what our communities did and did not do....how many children were silenced....how many kept quiet so not to ruin their chance of Shiduchim....or that of another family member.

    If Lag B Omer in Meron deserves investigation, how much more so this tragedy.

    Don't let his self inflicted "single bullet" put an end to the voice of those victims. 25 years! And the suffering of the innocent does not stop with his cowardly escape.

    And now He is the victim???? The face of a dog indeed.

    My heart breaks for the true victims.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. I only hope and pray that we can rescue the victims of this monster before more of them suicide.

      Delete
  36. I sincerely hope that the quote from rabbi Edelstein is wrong. Because if he said that, it it outrageous and shocking on so many levels.

    Chazal many times use hyperbole - not to be taken literally - to emphasize ideas which were not well known or not considered important. One of those is המלבין פני חברו ברבים אין לו חלק לעולם הבא. As great as they were, they didn't have 'behind the scenes' access to the World to Come to know who's in and who is out. They wanted to draw attention to the crime of falsely shaming another in public. There is no need to emphasize the horrific act of murder or terrible crime of adultery; the Torah spells that out quite clearly. But to say adulterers will enter the world to come but shamers won't, indicating the latter is worse than the former is just plain wrong!

    Another point. He focuses on the shaming of this individual, leading to his depression which, in turn, led to him taking his own life. Did he ever meet Walder? Ever hear him speak? One of the most self-assured and confident people is not prone to sudden mental illness and suicide!

    Finally, how about rabbi Edelstein sparing a thought for the countless victims whose lives have been destroyed? Not as important as protecting the callous perpetrator,obviously. How about soothing the feelings of the victims, trampled beneath his filthy boots? How about saying something to all the boys and girls, men and women who fall and will fall prey to another sick pervert we haven't heard about yet? Heartless.

    I've lost all respect and sympathy for this rabbi. Again, I just hope that was a misquote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He also makes the very obvious error of conflating adultery with rape.

      If he said it...well, it's hard to have respect for him

      Delete
    2. "He also makes the very obvious error of conflating adultery with rape."
      But he didn't mention rape. He only mentioned adultery. We don't know what information he was given. I also have a very mild speculative suspicion that there's been no current reaction from RGE. The statement sounds like he's talking about a one-off non-habitual adulterer. Maybe he made the statement in another context, and the quotation is being released now as if it's contemporary. (Again, pure speculation on my part, due to respect for the Gadol)

      Delete
    3. Also, by putting an end to his life, Chaim Walder prevented from there being any closure to the case(s).

      In the Larry Nassar case, he stood trial, and the claims of the victims were substantiated.

      Now, unfortunately, there will still be people who will deny the claims of the victims, and instead say that Chaim Walder was a victim of libel.

      Delete
  37. These people are predators on a genetic level. They can never do teshuvah. The only solution is their permanent removal from the society. Chareidim society is acting similar to the Catholic Church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "They can never do teshuvah"

      Cured? The current consensus is probably no. Teshuva? Always.

      Delete
    2. Of אחטא ואשוב type only.

      Delete
    3. True words. All the attempts to give them various treatments to change them, end up failing. Death sentence is the only way to stop these monsters. One pervert can rape hundreds of children, but people either do not know, or want to know.

      Delete
    4. I repeat:
      This sounds like predestination which is a Calvinist idea. Jews believe in free-will. I for one reject it.

      Furthermore the use of the term genetic is pseudoscience. It dresses up a prejudice as science.

      Delete
  38. https://vinnews.com/2021/12/29/powerful-letter-from-rabbi-ron-yitzchok-eisenman-of-passaic-about-the-chaim-walder-case/

    ReplyDelete
  39. Rabbi Slifkin, you often quite Rabbi Aviner as a paradigm of what a Rabbinic leader should be.
    He has taken what appears to be a sharply different approach here, which does it accept as fact that CW is a molester.

    Genuine question here... has this caused you to lose confidence in Rabbi Aviner as a person and role model?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I only ever quoted him once. And after what I've learned recently about him, I certainly don't think that he is a paradigm of rabbinic leadership.

      Delete
    2. Would you say that because of R Aviners statement,

      "The DL leadership has declared itself to be utterly, terribly, morally bankrupt. If you are in any way associated with that community, then you either publicly protest it, or you are effectively complicit."???

      Delete
    3. If I find more DL/MO rabbis like him (spoiler: I can. Easily), will you acknowledge he is not an aberration?

      Will you condemn the entire DL/MO community, like you did to chareidim here?

      Or are you just making unfalsifiable claims, based on your preexisting hatred of chareidim?

      Delete
  40. Rav Yitzchol Breitowitz: Suicide was act of abuse: https://vinnews.com/2021/12/29/watch-rav-breitowitz-walders-suicide-was-an-extra-act-of-abuse/
    Rav Eisenmann: Walder was an abuser - we list speak up: https://vinnews.com/2021/12/29/powerful-letter-from-rabbi-ron-yitzchok-eisenman-of-passaic-about-the-chaim-walder-case/
    There are many chareidi rabbanim speaking up. Unfortunately, they are all American. Israeli Rabbanim just pretend this didn't happen.
    Ash

    ReplyDelete
  41. Here is an article that addresses the statements of R Edelstein in a way that you (and all of us) can learn from. https://cross-currents.com/2021/12/29/chaim-walder/
    The author is someone who you've quoted in the past and who you seem to respect, as you should. He manages to strike a delicate balance by strongly denouncing the "face value interpretation" of R Edelsteins quote while at the same time not impugning the individual by offering a possible spin on his words that make them far less harmful. Speaking in more balanced, nuanced tones might "sell less newspapers" (figuratively speaking) than continuing to push this "us vs them" narrative, but doesn't contribute much towards solving any of the societal issues you purport to want to solve and certainly doesn't help in convincing anyone on the dati leumi/chareidi fence to inch any closer to your side of it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Rabbi Dr. Slifkin, In the [Hebrew] Yated edition that I saw (Tuesday), it did not say "Zecher Tzaddik Livrachah." It said "ZL", or "Zichrono Livrachah." While it was disconcerting to see Yated giving him any berachah, it was at least a little comforting to see that the didn't call him a tzaddik. You sure you saw "tzaddik" in it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yated had "zt"l" in its obituary. I saw it the day it came out.

      Delete
  43. If you are such a champion of abuse victims, then why don't you go ahead and expose the person you know of who is ACTIVELY abusing people? That seems a lot worse to me than giving a hesped of someone who is no longer a threat (not that I think it was a good thing to do)
    You either need to expose him "or you are effectively complicit."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The person you spent a few posts on describing how you are going to expose someone, but ended up too scared to follow through

      Delete
  44. https://www.inn.co.il/news/536391

    Fresh off the press. The religious society simply doesn't know how to handle sexual abuse regardless of its ideological orientation. I say to go to the police and not to get the rabbis involved or take the law into your own hands. These are the only effective measures.

    ReplyDelete
  45. What you don’t seem to mention (or care about) is that rav Gershon edelstein was the one who had him fired from the yated in the first place!

    Of course he wasn’t trying to make him into a tzaddik but he believes in dealing with issues of molestation in a quiet way, not in a public forum
    (As anyone with any information about Bnai brak knows, that they take all suspected molestors to the police WITHOUT it being splashed in Haaretz front page)

    Why the yated gave him that obituary after firing him, that is indeed a good question (Agav slifkin LIED as usual, because the yated did not write “זצל meaning tzadik, but ז״ל just zichrono livracha. Not that I agree with that either, but just pointing out that they did NOT refer to him as a tzaddik).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The title only said zichrono livracha, but the text of the article said zatzal.
      (Does that mean that you lied? Or did you make a mistake?)

      Delete
  46. I am not Haradi and have never heard of you before Rav Slifkin. However reading your words is wonderful, finally finally finally a Rabbi who tells the hard bitter truth.

    Here in my area, Nachlaot, we had the first big public scandal, 200 children mostly Haradim, 60 perverts. Since then ten years ago, this is my war, to save children. I looked for one Rabbi, just one Rabbi to roar out the message to value children. Well finally here you are.

    According to the nit picking comments here, the cover up is going strong, so please Rabbi, do not stop.

    My GGSaba is Rav Aisel Harif, well known for his stinging words of truth, and dislike of lies. The name is not his real surname, it is a nickname based on his harif character, which Baruch Hashem has been passed on to me. If he was here today, he would applaud you for taking on the Haradi, religious world, and stripping of the masks of lies and deception.

    How anyone who claims to fear God can trample down the blood of the children, is beyond me.

    Ruth Cohen Harif, Jerusalem.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Rabbi Walder was a tragic and evil person who took the enormous talents that HKBH gave him and used them to abuse children. He wrote books against the Torah: they condition children to keep bad secrets and to become silent victims of abuse. Although he was involved with good things, we should hate him. It's a mitzva to hate him.

    ReplyDelete
  48. @Shmuel:

    Chaim Walder was a tragic and evil person who took the enormous talents that HKBH gave him and used them to abuse children. He wrote books against the Torah: they condition children to keep bad secrets and to become silent victims of abuse. Although he was involved with good things, we should hate him. It's a mitzva to hate him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Yitz:

      I disagree with that. Rabbi Walder was a good person because he was created in the image of G-d as it is impossible for there to be no good thing created by G-d.

      Btw, he wrote wonderful books. I know many people who absolutely loved them. Your are not accurate in your statement about the mitzva. We are only permitted to hate their behavior not the person.

      Delete
    2. @Shmuel
      It's hard to know where to start with how wrong you are, I'm afraid.
      Firstly, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Walder did what he's accused of. He was investigated by a properly constituted beis din. He was invited to appear before them to give his testimony but refused and instead killed himself. He did so in the most theatrical and manipulative manner possible, in a way designed to cause more pain and guilt to his victims. A recorded conversation of him in his own voice speaking with a married woman whom he defiled adulterously, is in the public domain, and in that conversation he threatens to commit suicide if she exposes him.
      Someone who merely lifts his hand to strike another person is called a "rasha" (c.f. parshas Shemos), "an evil person"; someone who actually hits another person, let alone sexually abuses them and drives them to contemplate or commit suicide, even more so.
      It is halachically not only permitted but actually mandated to hate a "rasha". Notwithstanding that he or she is made "b'tzelem Elokim", in G-d's image, and that they retain the limitless potential for kedusha and spiritual achievement that everyone has right up until the moment of death (c.f. Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaki), so long as they persist in their evil ways they are in the category of "rasha".
      His books are far from wonderful. As a senior educator with more than 30 years' experience, and as someone who in that professional capacity has had unfortunately to deal with multiple cases of child abuse, I implore you to get rid of his books and prevent your children from being exposed to their corrosive messages. Just two examples: First, in some stories he puts the thought into children's minds that they might have been partially responsible for the bad things that happened to them. This is a classic tactic of serial abusers: make the victim feel responsible for what happened, make them feel guilty and ashamed, because that will silence them and stop them from speaking out. Second example: one of his stories has a child who was bullied keeping silent about it; Walder praises the child for not telling their parents so as not to cause them "needless" worry, and for thus avoiding the trap of lashon hora.
      This is a terrible message, because no child should ever be conditioned into believing that there are secrets that should be kept from caring parents, or that it is wrong to confide in a caring parent about something that's troubling them. No external counsellor or therapist can ever be a substitute for a parent in this respect. They may indeed be a valid adjunct to a parent; and indeed there are times where a properly trained and licensed therapist, working with a child with the parents' consent and who operates according to accepted professional standards including with therapeutic supervision, may be told things by a child client that are not passed on to a parent: but that is certainly not the normal message that children should be indoctrinated with.
      And by the way, Walder was not a trained therapist; he was not subject to professional regulation, licencing or supervision; and he did not adhere to accepted standard professional practices that are there precisely to safeguard clients and protect them from abuse.
      His books are an extremely carefully crafted body of work by an exceptionally intelligent, charismatic and talented person, that were designed to do three things: to cultivate and develop opportunities to meet potential victims; to condition potential victims into the mindset that made them more susceptible to abuse and manipulation; and to create an unassailable image of the author as someone who was unthinkable as an abuser.
      Unfortunately, he was extremely successful and we all fell for it. Until very recently.
      Make no mistake: Walder was a rasha; it's obligatory to hate him; it's obligatory to support his victims; and it's imperative to destroy his evil, dangerous books.

      Delete
  49. Can you post translations of the laudatory articles for proof? People on Quora are questioning it, when I bring up this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can hear parts of R. Nosson Zochovsky's shocking hesped for Walder here:

      https://youtu.be/7SEwgBCgnVw

      According to Wikipedia, R. Zochovsky is the head of Yated Ne’eman's Vaadah Ruchanit.

      Delete
  50. A great Hesped about R.Chaim Walder
    https://wp.me/p6PCPs-Fw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.... This looks like a parody rather than a genuine "hesped".

      Delete
  51. For anyone interested in an honest, productive, and respectful way of approaching the issue:
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-harm-can-come-from-anyone-how-haredi-schools-are-talking-to-kids-about-walder-1.10514547

    It certainly does not address everything or resolve anything but it does frame the discussion in a way which is much more sensitive to those who legitimately have trouble digesting the news and reminds us to focus on improvement. It's better to fix the future than complain about the past.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This whole article is a bunch of garbage written by someone who just wants to bash chareidim to get attention. Yes, before the beis din interviewed all the women and had a definitive psak, some were careful not to shame him in public (whether correct or not), but once he was found guilty the whole chareidi world came out against him strongly and said there is absolutely no issur to bash him in public. This person just needs attention and will harp on any little misstep to try and get it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. @Anonymous
    "The whole chareidi world came out against him..."

    You must live in a very isolated bubble. Your statement is risible. It's not worthy of detailed refutation. Just do your homework next time before posting nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yes, it's impossible to describe the moral bankruptcy of people who spend their days and nights trying to find dirt on Charedim (rather than looking in the mirror)

    ReplyDelete
  55. "A Beit Din in Safed led by Rav Shmuel Eliyahu heard testimony from twenty-two people - victims, rabbis and therapists - about a pattern of assault which had been going on for twenty-five years."

    Wrong. They heard testimony about, not from, 22 people, which to my understanding were all alleged victims. We have no idea who actually gave testimony, nor what they said. How far do you want to go?

    Stories like this inevitably are followed by further sourced accusations, especially as the alleged perpetrator is dead and no longer a threat to anyone. Yet here, not one, save some alleged victim so traumatized by the accused's alleged suicide and response to it that she was driven to do the same herself. How convenient. Everything else is insinuation and distortion.

    You, and by you, I mean anyone who seeks to believe this in the way the theoretically explosive TANG letters way back in the George W. Bush days were finally admitted by Dan Rather to be "fake, but accurate". Every last one of you should take a deep breath and a step back.

    I do not know what is actually going on, but one thing we, yes we, can be sure of, is the official story, which in this case, is the media (and its courtesans) story, is not it.

    I know, firsthand, very sadly, of several cases of sexual abuse in the Haredi world, so I am not blind to it. And that it is more problematic than people want to believe possible. But just because that is so, does not make every single allegation, no matter how explosive and how much attention given to it, even by people claiming to be kosher Jews, true, let alone even credible. Stop outsourcing your discernment to the media, or the state, for that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  56. My lords, my ladies and those who read me in a bathroom,

    I think the discussion went to wrong direction. You all are mainly fixated on questions such as whether CW retained a presumption of innocence at least until a day before he dead or not. However this is rather a pretext to discuss much more important case which is a moral bankruptcy of the Charedi Leadership.

    For example:

    1. Assume JNN was right in his (now deleted) comment: CW guilty is not duly proven, at least until now. Why the Charedi Leadership did not say that clearly and loudly?

    2. Generally speaking, our Sages said that each and every rabbinic court has presumption to be a court of experts and each their decision should be taken as justified, except if the opposite is proven. Why the Charedi Leadership representatives challenged the Safed court decision to maintain the funeral "hesped"? Assume they reject r.Sh.E. as a serious rabbi: why don't they say that explicitly?

    And so on. The attitude towards the CW case is the best example how the Charedi Leadership chooses to ignore problems instead of saving them.

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