A Former Rabbi’s Proclamation On Tznius
Fellow Jews, I believe it’s essential we come to realize that the rabbis are right. Lack of Tznius is certainly one of the biggest problems in Yiddishkite today and indeed causing the Jewish people so much hardship.
I, as a former rabbi, have suffered for years watching helplessly as our community has endured the tremendous hardships of our neglect on addressing these critical issues properly. Therefore I am making my own Kol Koreh – public proclamation – to address this horrific breach in our moral standards. Tayreh Yidden! What has our nation come to!
1. Rabbis, cheder rebbes, maggidei shiurim, seminary teachers etc must not rape, molest, take advantage of students whether they are minors or young adults.
2. When we rabbis catch a known rapist or molester we must deliver then to the authorities immediately and not let them continue to rape and even worse Chas veshalom go onto run a seminary for young women. This also applies to cheder rebbeim. Don’t just fire them and send them to spiritual counseling, too many cheder rebbeim return to violating children. Once we catch a predator Report them immediately and protect our children and save countless lives from the horror of becoming victims to our antipathy.
3. These principles also apply to all frum Yidden. Do not rape, molest, take advantage of any human being. Just because our rabbinic leadership lets people get away with it does not condone such deplorable and despicable behavior.
4. Dear rabbis. Pedophilia is a crime. Even if you’re only viewing and sharing images, you are still contributing to a devastating exploitation of minors.
5. It is absolutely forbidden to secretly film newlyweds being intimate in any setting, particularly in free housing set up by us rabbis to help them get a start on life. This also applies to our mikvehs. Our congregants trust us, beyond this horrific breach of tznius we are violating people on the deepest most profound level.
6. Although the temptation may be great do not take advantage of your congregants for sexual favors. This applies whether they are bringing a niddah question to you, coming to you for marital counseling or just trying to become close to you to get emotional or spiritual support.
7. Although cheating on your wife may not be illegal in dini demalchusa, it is still a gross breach of trust to your wives- unless they consent, in which case you should still be mindful of the example it sets for those who look up to you for spiritual guidance.
8. A rabbi who preaches modesty who then frequents prostitutes should confront his hypocrisy.
9. Groping or touching people without their permission is forbidden. Don’t wait for the closed circuit cameras to catch you. Just don’t do it.
My dear rabbinic colleagues. I believe this is a good start. Let’s lay off the women for a while. By that I mean let’s lay off posting weekly declarations to women regarding how they dress in bold threatening posters. And let us focus our attention on working on the more serious breaches of tznius we’ve been shoving under the rug.
In conclusion, we know frum women are unfortunately easier to control – after all we can’t just simply tell men to keep their eyes to themselves. Perhaps we have a problem with this ourselves and realize that if we can’t control our own eyes how can we tell men to control their eyes. Yes, being that women are easier targets let’s repress the temptation to burden them more than necessary smothering them in hot uncomfortable clothing in the stifling summer months lest a man see something that distracts his learning Chas v’shalom.
Maybe indeed part of the problem is our own obsessive fixation on the way women look instead of working on our own human dignity and respect for them.