In response to everything that has been exposed to the public in the past few months, Lipa Margulies has placed Yudi Kolko on administrative leave. There are those who say this is more than one can expect from someone such as Lipa Margulies and as such we should leave well enough alone.
Others realize that the problem never was Yudi Kolko. It remains an unfortunate fact that pedophiles will attempt to build lives around their prey. That Kolko chose to spend his life around children is no surprise. That Kolko was protected by Margulies should also come as little surprise to anyone who knows him. That Margulies and Kolko were allowed to continue their heinous acts for decades after complaints were made to Torah Temimah, Agudath Israel, Torah U’Mesorah and many others is symptomatic of the core problem.
The problem is with our self anointed rabbinical and lay leadership. In the coming weeks the world will learn of the unimaginably cynical and cruel acts committed by Lipa Margulies with the knowledge and assistance of Shia Fishman (executive director of Torah U’Mesorah,) Pinchus Scheinberg, Yaakov Perlow (Novominsker Rebbe and Agudath Israel’s president and chairman of Agudath Israel’s Council of Torah Sages,) Simcha Kaufman (rebbe in Torah Temimah, employee of Camp Agudah and talmid of Pinchus Scheinberg,) and Elya Svei (former Rosh HaYeshiva of Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, former chairman of the rabbinic administrative board of Torah U’mesorah and former member of Agudath Israel’s Council of Torah Sages.)
Our message is simple.
When your child is running a fever you head straight to the pediatrician. When you have a toothache you go to your dentist. When you have a tax question you meet with your accountant. When you want an insurance policy you go to your insurance agent. When you have a legal question you ask your lawyer. When you find a leak in your home you call your plumber. When you need an extension to your home to house your growing family you hire an architect and a builder. You get the point.
When you or your children are molested or otherwise abused you go to the police to protect yourself and your neighbors and to a mental health professional to deal with the fallout of the abuse. Simple. There is no place for rabbis or lay leaders in this equation. This is not only our opinion. If you won’t rely on your own sense of decency, self preservation and logic, Rav Elyashiv, Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rabbi Dovid Cohen and countless others from all walks of life declare that it is your obligation to do so.
The problem is more complex.
As a community we have been misled by our rabbonim. For several decades they have taught the dogma of thinly disguised papal infallibility wrapped in a cloak of kappotes and beckeshes. The complexity of this situation lies in the need to deprogram so many of us from this perverse distortion of our holy torah.
Our prescription is crude but effective. Shock treatment.
In a mere few months we have gone from a community deep in a dogma induced stupor to one engaged in a lively debate over the qualifications of our rabbonim and lay leaders possess to deal with our day to day issues.
Parents, students and rabbeim of Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah, our solution has two more stages left. The next stage will impact upon you directly.
We mean you no harm. The vast majority of you are unsuspecting victims who just went along with the flow. Your friends sent their children to Torah Temimah so you did the same. We feel for the disruption in your lives. Please feel for the agonizing pain in the lives of Margulies and Kolko’s many victims. We ask that you feel their pain so that you will not take what will be happening personally.
Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah and Lipa Margulies will be destroyed.
While many may mourn the good that will be destroyed along with the evil most of us understand that the good inherent in our holy Torah can not exist in the presence of Margulies and the institution he built on the blood and souls of our children.
Torah Temimah must be destroyed as a clear message to all that as a community steeped in the values of the Torah we can not tolerate such pure uninhibited evil.
We have fired our opening salvo. The barrage will continue and by September you will not recognize Torah Temimah.
Rabbeim, we understand the pressure you are under. Margulies pays you well and on time. You are comfortable. We suggest you think of the stigma of working alongside Kolko and for a man such as Margulies. We suggest you think about being unemployed without notice. Now is the time for you to either group together and start another yeshiva or find employment elsewhere.
Parents and students, now is the time to protect yourselves and your families and make alternate arrangements for the next school year. Neither you nor your children deserve to be a part of the punishment dealt Margulies for his murder of innocent children. Being a part of Torah Temimah has turned into an unimaginable stigma which will only get worse as more becomes public.
Enroll your children elsewhere.