|Dr. Harvey Erlich|
Nov 15, 2012, 05:00 pm Man Charged In Historical Sexual Assault Investigation, Harvey Erlich, 58, Police Believe There May Be More Victims
Danny Wool has left a new comment on your post "Another Arrest In The Toronto Jewish Community For...":
Let me be clear here. No one is talking about "commenc[ing] the destruction of a man and [I agree] more importantly, his family." I believe that a press release is forthcoming, and it is only a matter of time.
At the same time, I wish you would consider the lives that were already destroyed because of what happened, even if it was so long ago. Those scars are real.
In my yeshiva days I learned that chataim bein adam lehaveiro, Yom Kippur eino mechaper" (Yom Kippur does not atone for sins between people). As one of the victims (yes, I said it), I cannot even begin to think of forgiveness unless there is a full public confession of what happened, not just to me, but to everyone else who was victimized. I expect that from both the perpetrators yimach shemam (may their names be erased) because only then will I be able to begin the process of yimach zichram (may the memory of them and what they did be erased).
When I was in the choir we used to sing, Ivdu et Hashem besimha, bo'u lefanav birnana. These are words every Orthodox kid knows. They come from Psalms 100, and are recited every weekday as part of the morning prayer service. When I used to pray, I found them ironic. They tell us to serve God with happiness, but they always reminded me of the choir, and that always left me depressed.
As I grew older, I learned that this is what is called a trigger (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trauma_trigger). What a horrible realization that was--the very invocation to be happy, especially when serving God, actually evoked one of the most traumatic events of my life. By extension, the very act of prayer becomes a trigger--the very kind of thing that survivors learn to avoid.
To put matters into perspective, prayer was one of the things that was stolen from me by those two animals. And there was much, much more--things that can never be returned.
As for the silence from the community, shetika kehoda'a (silence is the equivalent of admission). I regard the Jewish community's silence as their admission of what happened and, by extension, of their acceptance of what happened too.
You asked, How can we know that the charges are true? There is one simple way. Ask the perpetrators. Demand that they tell you the truth, regardless of the consequences. The truth will come out anyway. They will be recognized for what they did. Maybe by admitting it now, they can, at least, begin to show the first signs of remorse.