Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Auschwitz, Sexual Abuse And Rabbis

A Reader Comments

"Herskovic died Friday at his Encino home after a lengthy battle with cancer, said his daughter, Patricia Herskovic.

Three months after being sent from Belgium to Auschwitz, Herskovic escaped by cutting through a chain-link fence with two other prisoners using a pair of wire cutters he had hidden. It was the first night of Hanukkah in 1942.

The three hopped a train to Breslau, Germany, but a local rabbi threw them out when they tried to tell him about the horrors at Auschwitz."

People dont realize.... throughout jewish history rabbis denied and did not address many important issues as they happened. Rabbonim (for the most part i hope) are learned people, that know how to deal with pure halacha and jewish matters.

War, sexual abuse, drugs and many other world issues are out of many rabbonims' league and they just dont have the tools to deal with. It usually takes years and years for the "leaders" in that sense, to catch up to the times. Drug use is a good example, I think they are finally catching up, but sexual abuse unfortunately is taking a longer time. I hope sooner rather than later people and leaders will stop being this blind and deal with these issues in an appropriate manner. If they would only look back at their own history... and learn from the mistakes of the past.


soon to be X tt parent said...

The big proble nowadays is that we dont have any real NACHSHON.
Most of the gedoliMwho should have spoken up about these issues in our schools are simply spineless. oR they are simply afraid of thier supporters.
The closest to nachshon that i came across is UOJ.
Hes got the spine and the Kohonies.
Keep it up my friend.
Just let us know before you make that major LEAP.

Yehudah Laufer said...

Hold it there UOJ, I think comparing this to the holocaust in any way is over the line. I don't like when people use the holocaust to prove their own point. I am not denying the horror of abuse but don't dilute th potentcy of your argument by comparing it to Auschwitz.

As for me, I was all set to send my son to TT for yeshiva and now - only because of you - I am not. Sadly, my other choice - Ruach Chaim - is also out. I guess I will have to settle for third best.

Anonymous said...

Your third best is probably *best* by now

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


My point is that the rabbis are not capable of seeing a holocaust even if it hits them in the face.

The rabbis are no more than humans, and in this case horrible humans to boot, no rabbi has stepped up at all.....YET!

Anonymous said...


Send your kids to a place that doesn't put down college or care what color shirt your son wears!

Yehudah Laufer said...

UOJ - I understand your point and it is well taken. Nevertheless, I still think that comparing anything to the holocaust is unwise.

Above Anon - if such a yeshiva exists please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Send your kids to a place that doesn't put down college or care what color shirt your son wears
or whether your parents beds touch each other. god forbid

Anonymous said...

Toras Emes. It is not as "vilde" as in previous years and the Rebbeim really care (at least some of them do) about the talmidim. And you're kid won't grow up hating Yiddishkeit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaverim,

Just a quick note, and I'll have more to say very soon -

I'm working on this project very hard. I'm trying to arrange for a beis din. I am additionally seeking a "global" solution for the problem of child sex abuse in our community, i.e., fingerprint-based criminal background checks for all yeshiva employees; and our own internal disciplinary system and registry of individuals barred from employment in our mosdos because of a history of sex abuse or violence. I am close to achieving positive results, but there are no guarantees. I am encouraged by the fact, however, that there are some others involved in this project. I am optimistic.

I originally came onto this blog on January 4, 2006, after I read the personal accounts of child sex abuse. I identified myself by name and address, and I informed the blog "velt" what I have been doing in this area. I said that I was available to publicly speak on this issue, and I still am. I did this because I felt a personal chov to say something, and do something. Today is March 7. For decades, nothing was happening, but in two months, a lot is. So please, fellow Jews, give us a chance. And I'm glad to say that the "us" is getting bigger and bigger. We have the frum Jew and musmach, UOJ, and some others, to thank for that.

Kol tuv, and I hope to be writing something additional very shortly.

Elliot B. Pasik
Attorney at Law
145 West Olive Street
Long Beach, New York 11561

Anonymous said...

I am sad about all this. Two of my friends have decided to send their children to public school after reading about all the molestation being allowed by rabbi Marlolis in his school. It seems the rabbis are quite dangerous around children.

The Son of One Lost in the Holocaust said...

It is a serious issue to be dealt with, but to to compare this to the Hollocaust when 6 MILLION Jewish Sould were snatched from our midst is to completely wipe away the memory of so many loved ones, including my dear father who perished in the War.

Please, show some sensitivity to those Holocaust survivors and their children.

I would hope that my aunt, my father's sister, would never read this comparison.

It shows how little we understand what went on during World War 2. European Jewry was completely wiped out.

How can we just call every crisis the same as the Holocaust.

Have we lost all moral and ethical comparative ability?

Please, I beg you, show some sincerity and understanding.

david said...

Mr. Pasik, how come you don't respond to your emails?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The Son Of.... and Yehuda,

There's the Holocaust with a capital "H", and than there's a holocaust, no capital letter.

There is a spiritual disease that is killing us Jews, one is the business that became Judaism, and money being the new God.

Kolko & Margulies epitomize the present holocaust(small h), they represent the destruction of Judaism in our generation. There is no God other than their instincts of survival; the hell with the children and the Torah..it's them....and them....

The damage they cause everyday just being in a setting where Jews find themselves, is tantamount to watching Hamas terrorizing and killing our brothers in Israel.

They have destroyed the faith of many, and the good will of Jews world-wide.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this

When the Lanner situation was first going on, the O-U was almost completely committed to covering and apologizing for him, with barely a slap on the wrist. the O-U!

I was desperately hoping that other rabbis would step in and challenge their kashrut... that that kind of a shonda was that inexcusable and required such a huge response. But nothing happened on a large scale. Thankfully, small-scale behind-the-scenes pressure must have worked. But there was no grand-scale outrage. It's such an enormous shame.

Thank you for posting this.

FrumHypocrisy said...

"...That's a victim thing; you ask yourself, 'Am I just crazy? Did I make all this up?' Somehow it might be easier to accept that you're crazy and you made it all up than to admit that it happened, and how awful it was," she said....

By Steve Gorman, Reuters

LOS ANGELES (March 7) - "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher revealed on Tuesday that she was sexually abused by an uncle as a child but kept it secret until he was arrested years later for molesting a girl who ultimately committed suicide.

In an interview appearing in Vanity Fair magazine, Hatcher said she told prosecutors about her abuse in 2002 because she was haunted by thoughts of the 14-year-old girl who shot herself and feared that her uncle might escape conviction.
"I was just blown over by this girl's pain," the 41-year-old television star told Vanity Fair, recalling she learned about the case from newspaper clippings.
"I thought, 'Boy, that's really close to being me.' Any day of the week, I could feel that sort of pain. I haven't tried to kill myself, but I've certainly thought about it, and then I feel guilty about thinking about it, because what's so terrible about my life?"
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham credits Hatcher for putting her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, who was then 64, behind bars.
"Without Teri, this case would have been dismissed," he told the magazine, explaining that Hatcher's account provided key corroborating evidence to establish a pattern of behavior.
Stone, who was married to Hatcher's mother's sister when she was a girl, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in December 2002 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison after Hatcher agreed to testify against him.
"He pleaded guilty, and even though it wasn't to my crime, it was because of my crime, and that made me feel validated," the television star told the magazine.
"That's a victim thing; you ask yourself, 'Am I just crazy? Did I make all this up?' Somehow it might be easier to accept that you're crazy and you made it all up than to admit that it happened, and how awful it was," she said.
Hatcher initially kept her involvement in the case, which never went to trial, a closely guarded secret, declining to include the experience in her upcoming book "Burned Toast," in part because she worried it might harm her career.
"But I'm 41 years old, and it's time for me to stop hiding," she said.
Hatcher is best known for her TV role as the disaster-prone Susan Mayer on ABC's hit show "Desperate Housewives." She previously co-starred as Lois Lane on the 1990s TV drama "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."
In the interview, Hatcher recalled in chilling detail how she was sexually molested by Stone starting at age 5, when she and her parents lived in Sunnyvale, California, and the conflicted emotions of feeling both special and ashamed.
"The most horrible thing, that has stuck with me all my life, is that he was touching me and doing things to me, and he said, 'Doesn't that feel good?' (And) I said, 'No, it doesn't.' He said, 'Well, someday you'll know what I'm talking about."'
Hatcher said that before going to prosecutors four years ago, she had never told anyone of her own ordeal, not even her parents. She said she last saw Stone when she was 8 or 9.

Anonymous said...

you are very wrong to bring up the story with the holocaust. i know that you are anti-rabbonim and gedolim (which by the way you are going to go go to hell for because you have no makom to judge or say lashon hora aout them) but there were counless other incedents where concetration camp escappees were not believed about the atrocities done in the camps the fact that the person who denied the claims this time was a rabbi is totally irrelevant. and you only brought it up because of your own personal opinion of rabbonim