Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The First Documented Sexual Abuse Case At Ner Israel - (NIRC) - Baltimore!

The UOJ Archives. (Originally published by The Awareness Ctr. - Credit was given on the original republishing of his story...subsequently I verified Mr. Fishman's story.)

There was much more, however, he did not explicitly give me permission to write about it, therefore I will not.

The sole purpose of me posting this is to demonstrate that molestation of children by people in authority is not a new phenomena; how it took Israel fifty years to tell his story, and that the very graphic details of his molestation were absolutely burned into his memory for his entire life. He was continually physically molested by NTL until he left the yeshiva.

Sexual molestation generally begins by encouraging children to openly discuss their private personal behavior,(grooming)... talking about their innermost normal thoughts, converting them into sins and horrible guilt. Once the victim's secrets are exposed, the predator uses that information to threaten the victim with exposure, and now can perpetrate their crime with little fear of being exposed. In just about every case of sexual abuse that I'm aware of, the abusers' MO are practically identical.

Israel Fishman wanted his story told. He passed away a few years ago.



by Israel Fishman

Please note the following is graphic. The article below tells of the experiences of an incest survivor that occurred over 50 years ago.

The following took place in 1953. I am not quite 15 years old and the youngest student at the Ner Israel Rabbinical Academy in Baltimore Maryland, which was then located at 4411 Garrison Boulevard.

When I arrived a few months earlier I had been the second youngest student, but the boy who was then the youngest was caught in flagrant delicto with another boy and was tossed out. The boy's father, a rabbi from Richmond, Virginia was the mashgiakh (kosher supervisor) for the large FFV Baking Company there. He must have come in to stay for that particular Sabbath, as traveling on that day is strictly forbidden.

So on that sacred day he approached the head of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Jacob L. Ruderman, who was sitting at the front of the large bais medrash (study hall) pleading with him to give his son a second chance. In front of all the students and teachers, Rabbi Ruderman screamed at the boy's father that he could not talk with him because the matter was absolutely closed, and that the boy must leave immediately. Meanwhile I am living in constant fear that either somebody in the yeshiva will find out all my dark secrets, or that God will surely punish me most severely for my unmentionable, abominable sins.

All the time, however I can't stop thinking of the beautifully gorgeous, angelic looking, red-haired and freckled boy, Hochberg from Hartford, and what might have been. I still shudder when I recall the recent Friday night when a whole bunch of fellow students came to visit me in my dorm room when I was sick. It was a Friday night there were no lights on in the room and all sat or stood around in total darkness. Hochberg, though, sat on my bed, and put his hand under the blanket and groped me. I was so scared, because I was worried that it was an entrapment, and I remained absolutely soft. This is the yeshiva environment in which the following event is taking place.

I have just shut the lights leaving my room for the study hall's evening session. It is a weekday and therefore we have study sessions every evening. Before I actually leave the room I feel somebody's hand on my shoulder who gently but firmly leads me back into my room. The lights remain turned off. His name is NTL. He is an older bokhur, that is, one of the senior students who took responsibility for the moral training of the younger students on a one-to-one basis.

He leads me to the bed where he sits very closely besides me and holds me very tightly around the waist. He is stronger and more powerful than I am. He is also an older bokhur that you have to respect and listen to. I was immobile and frozen.

He tells me that he could tell from the lines under my eyes that I was masturbating (which I already knew was a grave sin, that is the masturbation and not the lines under the eyes per se!), Before long I am confessing to him all the other evil things that I had been doing, including the sex that I had had for many years with my older brother, Calmin. I tell him that it had gone on for nearly six years and had only ended when we separated a few months earlier, with him going to seminary in Cleveland and I, as I said earlier, coming to Baltimore. I feel so relieved in unburdening myself to someone who is so interested in me.

Through the whole long evening (and it feels that it it a very long evening) I am so scared and afraid, feeling that I dare not make a single move, let alone excuse myself to take a pee, which is getting more and more urgent.

I continue to remain in NTL's close embrace, although by now we are standing against a closet door with one of my hands squeezed against the doorknob. By now I don't know what is hurting more, my hand against the doorknob, or having to pee so urgently. But still I dare not move. I am trapped.

NTL makes me promise that I will never, ever, urinate standing up (because doing that I would be touching myself and that might very well lead to masturbation). I must also immediately train myself to sleep only on my side, and not on my belly or back (in order to avoid having a nocturnal emission, which, of course, is also sinful). I am to tell him every time that I transgressed, even if it was just a matter of having a wet dream. Finally, he tells me that I am so indebted to him for what he is doing for me that, even if I had a million dollars, I would have to give it all to him.

I have no awareness of how long I am with NTL; only that my hand is hurting and that I need to pee so badly. I am so afraid of him and I am so overwhelmed by this evening. No one has ever talked to me at such length and especially helping me to overcome my sinful desires.

I have no idea or comprehension where this evening's experience and my relationship with NTL will undeniably and inescapably take me, and what tragic and painful consequences I will have to endure down the road. But all that is in the future (or at least four or so months away.)


Anonymous said...

Any reason why you didn't mention you took the Israel's story off of The Awareness Center's web page? Or mention that Israel was featured in the film 'Trembling Before God'? Israel was an activist. He was very proud of who he was.

Israel David Fishman
February 21, 1938 - June 14, 2006
By Carl Navarro

Born in Westerly, Rhode Island on February 21, 1938.

Beloved life partner of Carl Navarro since 1974.

Isarel Fishman was President of the Park Slope Food Coop since 2005 and had served on its board of directors since 1998. He worked tirelessly to maintain the Coop's stability and further its growth.

Graduated City College B.A. magna cum laude and Columbia University M.S with honors. He overcame incredible hardships to become a unique and beautiful person. Brilliant and creative mind, an ethical and spiritual person, lover of all things Italian, of the Yiddish language and Ashkenazik culture, and of Chazzanuth (cantorial music) of the Golden Age, avid race walker, passionate and skilled vegetarian cook.

At various periods in his life he was a rabbinical student, professional librarian, massage therapist, and businessman.

His prophetic passion for social justice led him to found, in 1970, the first gay professional organization in the world -- the Task Force on Gay Liberation (now known as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Roundtable) of the American Library Association. In 2001 he was honored by this group who decided to rename one of their two annual Stonewall Book Awards as the "Israel Fishman nonfiction book award."

Also in 2001 he appeared as one of the featured subjects in the acclaimed documentary, Trembling Before G-d, a film dealing with lesbian and gay Orthodox and Hassidic Jews.

The world is a better place because he walked on this planet. His physical presence and the blessings he bestowed will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate to have been in his presence. The memory of the righteous is indeed a blessing.

Contributions in his memory can be sent to the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association's Endowment Fund.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly the first documented case of sexual abuse on the campus of Ner Israel was the case of Matis Weinberg who headed a gang of boys who were molesting young boys on the campus.

Matis was sixteen when he molested his younger brother. Does anyone know what year that was? I believe this started the trend of how cases would be handled in the Baltimore community. If the rosh yeshiva's son could get away with child molestation, then everyone else after that point should be allowed to too.


Anonymous said...

Since we are talking about the Baltimore community I thought it was important to bring the following comments to this posting.

I was also at the 'Narrow Bridge' screening in Baltimore a few weeks ago. There was a man there who scared me. I didn't catch his name, yet he identified himself as being a rabbi, attorney and a psychologist.

The extremely large man was speaking extremely loudly while thrashing his arms around. I was afraid he was going to get up and hit someone as he spoke.

He was obviously out of control. All he was doing was spewing the propaganda of the Vaad of Baltimore.

I'm wondering if anyone knows his name? I think all survivors need to be warned to stay away from him.

I think this man should be reported to the APA if he's really a psychologist. I also believe that if he's really a rabbi he should have his ordination revoked. I think the only career this man is qualified for is being a defense attorney for sex offenders.

Anonymous said...

The man you are talking about identified himself as Rabbi Reuven Poupko. Here's his web page: http://www.poupko.com/

He also scared me and I think everyone in the room. I would have described his behavior as being irate.

I think Vicky Polin handled the situation perfectly. I was surprised that they edited his comments out of the video. I think it would have been important for the world to see how insane those who represent the Board of Rabbis are.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I corrected the top of the post to credit The Awareness Ctr. Sorry! Credit was given on the original UOJ post....

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I have the greatest respect for Israel Fishman's memory and I believe he was a person who experienced great pain throughout his life, particularly caused by him being a victim of sexual abuse.

I do not condone any "group" or "lifestyle" that is in direct contradiction to Halacha. I love the Jew, I do not approve of the lifestyle. That's just my opinion.


Anonymous said...

Matis Weinberg and Shalom Tendler were roomates and best friends. It's not difficult to understand why Shalom Tendler followed Weinberg to Kerem in San Jose and the yeshiva was subsequently shut down.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone knows the names of those who were a part of the gang Matis organized that went around molesting younger boys on the campus of Ner Israel?

If Shalom Tendler was Weinberg's best friend, was he a part of the gang? I also am aware that Avi Shafran was very good friends with Matis. I was always curious if he could have been one of the raping gang members? If he was a part of the Weinberg gang, it would make perfect sense of why he has always been someone who supported sex offenders.

Anonymous said...

The only reason why the vaad put out the letter in Baltimore was because it was part of an agreement they made with some of the Eisemann survivors and the administration of Ner Israel. The letter was to only be signed by the rabbonim of Ner Israel. Unfortunately, Shefty Neuberger et al thought it would look much better if the letter came from the vaad. They knew the article about Ephraim Shapiro was about to come out and needed to do some damage control.

The letter was nothing more the a PR event as is the program they are putting together on Feb. 20.

The rav's in the Baltimore community are no better then those in Lakewood, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, etc.

Anonymous said...


We are really not interested in Fishman and his Gay lover!!!!

Bottom line is that despite his being a victim of abuse, he violated the Torah in a big way. He did not have to!! At the end of the day, he and only he is responsible for his actions.

His story makes me sick!

If Israel were a molester who himself had been molested in Ner Israel, you would not post his story and expect anyone to have sympathy for him. You would rail against him as a molester not caring whether his own experience as an abuse victim caused him to molest others. SAME HERE!!!! Get him off the this website please!!!

Anonymous said...

The only reason why the vaad is putting together the program on Feb. 20th at rabbi Hauer's shul is because of the huge turnout at the screening of the film 'Narrow Bridge' sponsored by the Awareness Center.

There's a lot of talk going on in the community about how educational and informative the panel discussion was. The vaad is afraid that community members might start respecting the Awareness Center. They figured it was much better to bring in Ohel to combat community members being educated by those who are truly experts in the field.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend that you all go to Rabbi Horowitz's website and take part in a discussion that is going on in response to his article. SOme of the commentors are saying that we must stop blaming the GEDOLIM and DAAS TORAH for what has happened claiming that this is just an excuse and that the parents need to take action.

While I agree with the sentiment that most parents have been TOTAL WIMPS and not removed their kids from TT (whether or not DAAS TORAH said anything on the matter), these commentors vastly UNDERESTIMATE the role that various RABBONIM have played in keeping the masses at bay. WHen it came to the kashrus scandal in MONSEY, the GEDOLIM publicluy conndemned FINKEL which signaled to the masses that FInkel was fair game. HE became a pariah as a result. But not so with the MOLESTATION SCANDALS.

THe sad part is that Rabbi Horowitz agrees 100% with this sentiment. He is going out of his way to protect DAAS TORAH and tell us that only a minority of the cases involve Rabbis.

I called for UOJ to take down his Thank you to Rabbi Horowitz. He does not represent our interests when it comes to fighting the corruption at the highest levels!!

Please go to Rabbihorowitz.com and make your voice heard loudly and clearly!!!

Paul Mendlowitz said...


The story being told is about Israel Fishman the victim of sexual abuse at NIRC - not Israel Fishman's personal life.

Once again...please love the Jew, not his violation of Halacha!

Paul Mendlowitz said...

As I said previously to Rabbi Horowitz...He will not be taken seriously if he straddles the fence! He will, like others, either take a clear-cut position, or will not be counted.

There's no gray area here and he knows it.

Anonymous said...


Rabbi Horowitz is not straddling the fence! He is clearly on the other side!!!!!

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Rabbi Horowitz is not straddling the fence! He is clearly on the other side!!!!!
Please post his comments here, let the fierce debates begin!

Anonymous said...

2. school and parents 1/15/08 - 1:36 PM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey NY

too long:
this is not a school issue (only). and i most certanly am not suggesting that schools don't need to do everything possible to prevent abuse.

but as i note in next week's column, most abuse is not school-related. so my advice is more global in nature.

keep in mind, as well, that this series in mishpacha is a parenting column; so the thrust of my thoughts are directed to parents.

My arrangement with mishpacha is not to post the columns before they run. but here are the first few lines of next week's column:

Safe and Secure

Anonymous said...

. Ground Rules -- Please Keep to Them 1/15/08 - 1:44 PM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey NY

Dear All:
I am very well aware of what a raw and painful issue this is; but I ask that all those who post comments keep the following rules:

1) No personal attacks, and no names mentioned in the posts 2) Same applies to mosdos haTorah -- No names of schools mentioned in the posts

Please keep the comments constructive in nature -- discussing what we can do as individuals and community members to help the victims and prevent future abuse from happening.

I never had to close the 'comment' section of this website, and I would like to continue that policy. But I will disable the comment feature for this essay if things get out of hand.

Please let's maintain the respectful tone of the comments.

Thank you


Anonymous said...

45. A response from Project YES staff member 1/17/08 - 1:52 PM
Avrohom Meir Gluck - Director of Operations, Project YES - amg@pyes.org

I'd like to address a number of issues raised here. As an introduction, I'd like to state that I am not speaking for Rabbi Horowitz, but as a staff member who has worked closely with Rabbi Horowitz as Director of Operations at Project YES since 1999.
First regarding Daas Torah. This subject, as well as, all or most subjects Rabbi Horowitz writes about have been discussed in detail with Gedolei Yisroel. In regard to mesirah about physical and sexual abuse, no less than three, well-known, acclaimed gedolim were consulted over the last ten years. One of these great Torah giants spent 2 hours in our offices educating our staff.

Secondly, regarding responses or lack of response, from gedolim. Rest assured that the gedolim who lead our communities are completely aware of all the issues being discussed here. They certainly have responded to these matters in many ways. It is naiveté to believe that because the gedolim do not resort to forums such as this one or 'kol koreis', means that they are ignoring the problem. The reason that many people can't imagine what the gedolim are doing or what they have done, is because they do not regularly interact with gedolim. Gedolim choose their venues carefully, for action in all matters public.

Thirdly, regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse. Rabbi Horowitz wisely maintains a polite and measured stance when discussing sensitive matters. Although dealing with victims of physical and sexual abuse are far beyond the scope of our work at Project YES, we receive very many calls about these matters and refer them to capable professionals. The numbers and the details are staggering. Although no formal study has been done, there is a tremendous amount of empirical, anecdotal and logical data to support Rabbi Horowitz's article. Unfortunately, incestual behavior (from fondling to actual sexual relations) is a very real part of this problem.

Finally, regarding outlets for sexual expression. People who have studied abuse or have engaged in even a cursory talk with a mental health professional will learn that sexual abuse is not at all about desire, morals or release of sexual frustration. It is primarily about control and power. This may be surprising to many lay people, just as it was to me when I first became educated about this, (case in point, the youthful predator who violates an elderly woman). Rabbi Horowitz's articles should motivate us to becoming as educated as we need to be, depending on whether we are parents, grandparents, educators or klal workers.

As to whether "we need to live in a heightened state of fear and dare I say hysteria", I suggest that readers look forward to Rabbi Horowitz's continued discussion on this matter, as well as, other forums that deal with abuse.

Anonymous said...

46. To anon 1/17/08 - 1:56 PM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey, NY

To anon questions (btw, please use your name, initials, or a screen name so readers can keep track of who's saying what)
As I wrote in one of the first posts on this thread, and in next week's column, school-based abuse is a tiny percentage of the cased of abuse that come my way.

So, as I see things, the only way to make a real dent in things is to educate our parents and children.

Hence these columns.


Anonymous said...


63. Gedolim 1/18/08 - 10:17 AM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey NY

David H, all:
I do not have time on a 'short Friday' to properly respond to the 'gedolim' issue, which, as many have pointed out, keeps coming up.

But in the broadest sense; I think there is a misunderstanding of how the process of 'daas Torah' works.

Gedolim are not like CEO's who set policy for 'the company.' Things are far more fragmented ... and complicated than that.

More later, time permitting.

But in short, we have to stop blaming our gedolim for everything, and start taking responsibility for raising our children.


Anonymous said...


63. Gedolim 1/18/08 - 10:17 AM
Yakov Horowitz - Monsey NY

David H, all:
I do not have time on a 'short Friday' to properly respond to the 'gedolim' issue, which, as many have pointed out, keeps coming up.

But in the broadest sense; I think there is a misunderstanding of how the process of 'daas Torah' works.

Gedolim are not like CEO's who set policy for 'the company.' Things are far more fragmented ... and complicated than that.

More later, time permitting.

But in short, we have to stop blaming our gedolim for everything, and start taking responsibility for raising our children.


Anonymous said...

114. Enough with the Gedolim-bashing 1/21/08 - 5:49 AM
Chaya - Eretz Yisroel

It would seem to me that those whose comments are centered around "gedolim-bashing" are in fact part of the problem, and most definitely not part of the solution.
It is much easier to lay blame than to act constructively. Those who lay the blame for our societal failures at the feet of the gedolim and insinuate that would they only speak up, or do this or that, the problem would either be completely or partially solved, are not only guilty of slandering our Gedolim, they have completely missed the boat on a practical level as well.

First of all, our gedolim have spoken publicly on the - I will say painful even though the word is hopelessly inadequate - issue of child abuse/molestation. Seven or eight years ago, both Rav Pam and yibadel lechaim tovim v'aruchim, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky spoke publicly in forums addressing this. There are thousands of copies of tapes of these addresses, as well as others. As for those charging that the gedolim should speak through the publications which claim to speak for them, a few months ago the Jewish Observer ran a lengthy article by David Mandel, CEO of Ohel, on the issue of child molestation in our community. As for "kol koreihs", the gedolim generally issue them only on matters that the public cannot determine for itself, such as fine lines in tznius or the Internet.

What kind of "kol koreih" should they issue on child abuse? One directed at the perpetrators? Ridiculous. On the fact that people should report the incidences and not hide them? The reason people don't is, I believe, by and large not because they think it's assur. It's because they are ashamed. And that is something that no kol koreih can cure.

Incidences of child abuse/molestation are notoriously underreported in EVERY society. This is not an Orthodox phenomenon. It is underreported because children are ashamed to talk about it, and because parents don't know how to handle it (and that's without even touching on the cases in which the parent is part of the problem). And our community has taken great steps in approaching those two issues.

Yes, it has taken time. But that is because, B"H, our children and our communities have special needs that must be taken into account when dealing with issues of child abuse and molestation.

I think it is high time that the discussion focus on what WE can do, rather than taking the oh-so convenient route of blaming our gedolim. And it is WE who have to set a zero-tolerance level for the heinous crimes being perpetrated against our children.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I welcome with open arms - Rabbi Horowitz's public acknowledgement of the extremely serious child-rape problem in the Orthodox Jewish community.

A man is judged by his actions. I would like to see Rabbi Horowitz's next step or group of steps. I obviously disagree with many of his above statements, that's not what troubles me at all.

Now that he's gone public with his agreement of the vast damage done by the perverted actions and inaction of the community; he will now have the onus, a very serious onus, to make drastic changes to a very broken Establishment!

To be sure; I will now hold him accountable! The clock is ticking!

Anonymous said...

SAN FRANCISCO -- The global-market sell-off spread Monday as indexes in Canada and Latin America plunged, following routs in Europe and Asia, and setting the stage for sharp declines when the U.S. reopens on Tuesday.
"It is no longer a question of avoiding recession in the U.S. any more. It is a case of damage limitation because the damage has already been done," said Andrew Clarke, a sales trader at SG Securities in Hong Kong. The U.S. authorities "now have to get on and act fast."

Anonymous said...

Why has nobody attempted to get Mattis Weinberg extradited to face charges in California of molesting and physically abusing students at Kerem? He has hurt many many people, and in CA there are no statute of limitations on these acts (according to the article from 199 in the Baltimore Jewish Times).

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if any of those in the orthodox community who profess themselves as being experienced or experts in working with those who have been sexually abused have ever gone for supervision with someone who really has the educatiion and expertise in working with sexual trauma?

I also wonder if any of the rabbis who keep writing about sexual abuse are just writing what they've read else where or if they really have the training to be writing on this topic?

My bet the answer to these question is no.

What makes no sense to me is that the more I learn about the orthodox community makes me extremely sad. I keep hearing over and over again that a male can not go to a female to learn about any topic. That women can not present at a conference or seminar if a man is in the room. What I don't understand is why?

I've been told several times is that a woman's presence might turn a man on. If this is the case, I think this is part of the problem why sexual abuse has never really been dealt with in the orthodox world. If men are taught that it is impossible to control their sexual urges and that if they fall off the derech because a woman is teaching them about a topic they know nothing about, it will be impossible for the orthodox world to ever do anything to end sexual abuse.

Anonymous said...

Both parents and rabbonim are responsible for the present lack of attention to complaints of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.

It is frustrating that growing awareness of specific scandals has not led to serious changes. Rabbi Horowitz deserves credit for opening up s serious discussion in this forum.

As part of a parent's personal obligation to protect his or her own children we must demand from the yeshivos and camps that they attend, that they have proper screening procedures and trained personnel who can recognize signs of abuse in children.

Without getting caught up in a debate about daas Torah and gedolim each of us has the right to ask rabbonim that we know, what they are doing to help those who have been victimized and to prevent new cases of abuse.

There is growing awareness but it has to be given direction. Last year a reporter in an Orthodox Jewish newspaper wrote a lengthy article about abuse based on a simple question. If your organization, shule or school receives a complaint of abuse what process exists to investigate the allegation?

Few gave any answer and a year later they still have no process.
Yosef Blau

Anonymous said...

There is one comment I would like to state with regards to the “gedolim bashing” discussion that was the topic of several posts. I have always felt strongly that our gedolim have not done enough to help the communities deal with this problem.

I am sure there are reasons for it that may represent other opinions that disagree with mine. However, I have a perception that there is another issue at hand.

I believe that more often than not, our gedolim fail to act on certain issues or decide incorrectly on issues because they lack the knowledge about the facts on the ground.

I hesitate strongly against stating this as an accusation, and do not believe they are at fault.

The problem, which I addressed publicly at the Agudah – Halacha Conference last year, is that many rabbonim are not educated about mental health issues.

Their knowledge is limited to what they perceive from their experience, and perhaps they have some contact with professionals who have shared some information.

My plea was that rabbonim should avail themselves of the many frum professionals in the field so that their guidance and daas Torah will have the advantage of an understanding of the “metzius”.

I have had many personal encounters with rabbonim providing guidance who were open to my input so that the case can be understood thoroughly. If our gedolim lack the facts, the Torah knowledge, however vast, cannot lead to proper psak.

Many of the greatest of our past generation sought such input. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZT”L spent many hundreds of hours learning the science of electricity, becoming the foremost recognized expert in this segment of hilchos Shabbos. He also spent countless hours with medical professionals, becoming one of the most prominent poskim in medical halacha. R’ Moshe Feinstein ZT”L also sought scientific information.

These are only two Torah giants with gigantic name recognition, but there have been and are many others. Yet, we often encounter those rabbonim who simply do not have the background, and are easily misled by limited information about the facts. The mission is to provide this guidance. So much for “gedolim bashing”.

Anonymous said...

Torah UMesorah and Agudat Yisrael have everything in their power to prevent religious entities or individual "leaders" from being legally required to report actual or suspected abusers.

It is worth remembering that there is virually no such thing as teacher training or record holding in the religious community. Again, those defending the indefensible will expect you to assume this must have a good but unspecified reason and it may be connected to their failure to create or sustain a viable education system.

It may also be connected to the fact that many if not most of those claiming to educate our children work off the books and would not be able to continue to dishonestly claim welfare of various types is they were registered as employees of any kind.

What began as a discussion of child abuse and the correct rabbinic response has become a far more wide ranging examination of rabbinic authority. You must be terrified - the whole house of cards is starting to shake.

Anonymous said...

Molestation is bad, that is a given. Next we go to the solution. We need a solution, that is a given. The gedolim and rabbanim are not doing anything about it. That is a given, and therefore it is no longer allowed to be posted because it puts them in a bad light. We now go back to the beginning and ask why are we not doing anything about the molestation, which is a given that is bad. With all due respect to Rabbi Horowitz, any community leader or "gadol" that sits by and doesn't do anything, is no longer a leader or gadol. Continuing to call these people gedolim just makes the problems worse. Now you have the community stating that while molestation is bad, it's worse to go against the gedolim, therefore we can't do anything about it. The only way for a kid to be "cured", is by going off the derech, where he can then get the counseling, the police, etc. So people, Rabbi Horowitz, which one is it: Protecting the children, or protecting the Rabbis?

Anonymous said...

Many have written on their doubts concerning rabbinic infallibility. Some have even dared to concede that their level of trust in these people is less in the face of a lack of action on these very serious issues.
I for one feel that the so-called great leaders (gedolim) have been exposed by this issue as deserving of far less respect than is puported in the Charedi world.

I progress from this realisation to believing that those who demonstrate such a lack of concern for their community are in fact the cause of the problem itself. As has been articulated many times, they have no problem in making a noise when it suits them.

Thus my Judaism is "post-Charedi" and "post-godol." I have entered the world where personal choice and morality must replace asking questions of others.

Whether I physically leave the Charedi world or remain inside it for social reasons, I have departed entirely from its ethos. I only wish that more would have the courage to follow suit.

Anonymous said...

Israel Fishman lived at the beginning of Ocean Parkway between Kensington & Park Slope. He used to write letters to the NY Times.

I think UOJ should remove the post that encourages queers to donate money to those despicable organizations.

Anonymous said...

"Task Force on Gay Liberation (now known as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Roundtable) of the American Library Association."

If I remember correctly, the ALA is pro-Arab and anti-Israel (the country - not Fishman).

Anonymous said...

If UOJ confirmed Fishman's story, he would know that Fishman got the name wrong of the perp from the NIRC dorm. The alleged perp has been in chinuch his entire life and is a senior figure.