Monday, December 17, 2012

Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?

                  "We’re all parents, that they are all our children...

........"But we as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. You know, someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around.

With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves, our child, is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice, and every parent knows there’s nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet we also know that with that child’s very first step and each step after that, they are separating from us, that we won’t — that we can’t always be there for them.

They will suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments, and we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear. And we know we can’t do this by ourselves.

It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself, that this job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community and the help of a nation.

And in that way we come to realize that we bear responsibility for every child, because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours, that we’re all parents, that they are all our children.

This is our first task, caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we’re meeting our obligations?

Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?"......



Baltimore, the City that breeds said...


Margolese moved to the Baltimore suburb in 1987 from Far Rockaway in Queens. He remembers as a 13-year-old wanting to increase his level of religious observance, to learn the skills required to sing the Torah like so many of his new neighbors had. So, Margolese says, his parents hired Israel Shapiro, a burly, jovial man known for having a way with children, as a Torah tutor. Margolese alleges that Shapiro soon began fondling him during the lessons. Margolese says he told a rabbi about the abuse and that the rabbi advised him to tell Shapiro he wanted to focus on his studies. He did so, but the abuse continued, he said, and after a few months, he told his parents he had learned enough.

For years afterward, Margolese says, he suffered from suicidal depression. He felt like he needed to cleanse himself, become more religious. “But as I grew up, I couldn’t reconcile the hypocrisy,” Margolese says.

“To me, it wasn’t just sexual abuse,” Margolese says in “Standing Silent.” “It was spiritual abuse.”

He survived, but his faith did not. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Margolese joined the Army and was posted to Baghdad. When he came home in 2004, he started a construction business with his brother. His efforts to talk about his abuse were almost always met with denial by family and community members, he says. “It’s like a victim was standing in front of them covered in blood and wounds,” he said. “They would say, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.’ ”

It wasn’t until 2007 that Margolese — galvanized by the out-of-state arrest of a former member of Baltimore’s Orthodox Jewish community for child sexual abuse — reported Shapiro’s actions to the police and convened the Pikes­ville meeting. “It was the beginning of an awakening in Baltimore,” Margolese says.

After it became known that he had gone to the police, Margolese says, members of Baltimore’s Orthodox community urged him to drop the matter — “Stop your crusade to destroy people and leave it,” he remembers one person said. His father, Mordecai Zev Margolese, 61, said his son received anonymous death threats over the telephone.

In March 2008, Shapiro received a five-year suspended sentence after filing an Alford plea, which means the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him. Shapiro’s name is now on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry. He works at a kosher butcher shop in Pikesville and declined to comment for this story.

He was especially shocked to receive half a dozen calls accusing Rabbi Jacob Max, the man who had officiated at his wedding, of molesting women. In April 2009, Max, 85, was convicted of sexually molesting a 44-year-old woman. He was sentenced to one year of incarceration, which was suspended, and one year of court-ordered unsupervised probation; he died in August.

Hache'zoyna yaaseh achosainu? said...

"Police estimate that there are nearly 10,000 sex workers in Israel. Organizations designed to help those working in this industry put the number closer to 20,000—equal to the population of an Israeli city like Zikron Yaakov. According to those same sources, brothels receive 3 million visits each week. MK Orit Zuaretz estimated that prostitution has become a billion-dollar-a-year industry in Israel."

This is from an article about Israeli women working as high-priced zonas in foreign countries for which police are not providing figures.


Senator Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) has introduced a bill that would withhold federal funds from states that fail to enact laws requiring all adults to report abuse to police.

Boruch said...

On topic. We continue to allow children and children in adult bodies to bring children into this world and raise them. We are stuck in the what's in it for me attitude and divorce at the first sneeze. We inculcate in our children that the world owes them a living, a home and what they want. We send them to the "best" schools, not for an education but for their shidduch resume. Are we doing enough to keep our children safe from harm? Are you kidding me?

Boruch said...


In case you weren't totally convinced that we are Effing up our kids royally.