Monday, February 10, 2014

The Fragile Boundary Between Religion and Child Abuse!

Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment
Posted on May 8, 2011 by Valerie Tarico

Valerie Tarico interviews Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment. During eight years working for NPR, Heimlich never shied away from controversial topics. She won nine journalism awards, in part by doggedly exposing injustices in the death penalty and prison systems. Most recently she made her way behind another set of locked doors, into the inner sanctums of authoritarian religious communities.

Tarico: What got you focused on such a hot potato of a topic?

Heimlich: I came upon the idea rather gradually. As a first-time mother at the age of 41, I first simply became focused on children’s issues, such as compassionate parenting. I then started to notice high-profile stories in the news, such as the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. One week in 2008 was particularly poignant: The pope came to the U.S. and spoke publicly about the scandal for the first time; meanwhile, authorities raided a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon group in west Texas, based on concerns that members were conducting marriages between men and underage girls. So, in some ways, my discovering the issue of religious child maltreatment was a personal venture, but, in other ways, it was very similar to how I come upon any story as a journalist.

Tarico: Some people would say that religion prevents child abuse – that a supportive spiritual community or a personal relationship with a higher power, or a strong moral core is the antidote to maltreatment.

Heimlich: As I state in the book, families generally benefit from participating in religious activities. Still, we are only beginning to understand how children are harmed in certain religious communities. In my research, I found that, in these problematic cultures, the good of the faith community as a whole takes priority over members’ individual needs, and this is particularly true with how those communities view children. I should also point out that, while many people of faith point to scriptural passages that appear to glorify children, those passages are few and far between. The Bible actually says very little about children being important people—for example, children are basically ignored in the Ten Commandments—and when children are discussed in the Bible, they are often portrayed as victims of violence.

Tarico: How did you go about your research?

Heimlich: Basically, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the mistreatment of children in religious environments. I plowed through hundreds of news articles and studies. I also interviewed dozens of adults who had been victims, as well as the few experts who have studied and written about the issue. I’m still trying to keep abreast of it all. I’d like to believe that religious child maltreatment is not as bad today as it was years ago—and to some extent, I feel that that’s true—yet new cases continue to shock me on a weekly basis.

Tarico: What was the most heartbreaking story you encountered?

Heimlich: When I was still mulling over the idea of writing this book, I kept playing devil’s advocate with myself, questioning whether religious child maltreatment was, in fact, a serious problem today. One day, I noticed a brief news blurb in the New York Times that settled the matter for me. The article explained that a little boy, a toddler, had been starved to death by a small cult in Baltimore for failing to say “amen” at mealtimes. What was particularly shocking to me was that this was not just the work of one deranged person—four adults were implicated in the crime, including the boy’s mother. Later, I would learn just how persuasive cult thinking can be; I’ve since gotten to know the dead boy’s grandmother who has gone through much heartache.

The other case involved a man named David Yoder who grew up in a conservative Amish community and today works to try to reduce child abuse in Amish communities. The first time we spoke, David told me how, when they were boys, he and a friend were mercilessly beaten by their fathers at the same time for being disobedient. The “crime” was fighting, although the boys had done no more than toss a piece of wood at each other. (This was reported by their teacher, and David’s father never got his son’s side of the story.) Again, the violence these boys endured was not delivered by a sadistic or mentally ill individual—both adults colluded to whip the boys until they apparently were close to death. But it’s not only important to call attention to child abuse in religious communities. In each case, my book examines how the belief system of those communities leads to the abuse.

Tarico: At this point, how would you describe the relationship between child abuse and religion?

Heimlich: I think the most important message of my book is this: Religion can provide children with a wonderful upbringing, but it is naïve and irresponsible to see religion only as a force for good. We’ve all seen how religion can lead people to go to war and wage terror on others. In the same way, religion can be a source for child abuse and neglect. As I often say, religion can bring children great comfort, but it can also turn their lives into a living hell. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can hope to reduce child suffering.

Tarico: Are some kinds of religious communities more prone to maltreatment than others? What are the patterns?

Heimlich: In writing Breaking Their Will, I felt it was imperative not to simply expose problems but answer the question: What makes religious experiences healthy and unhealthy for children? I came to the conclusion that children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect if they live in religious authoritarian cultures. There are three perfect-storm factors that identify a religious culture or community as authoritarian: one, the culture has a strict, social hierarchy. Two, the culture is fearful. And three, the culture is separatist. The more intense these three factors are—the more authoritarian the culture is—the more likely children will be harmed. It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter whether the community is Christian, Jewish, or Muslim; whether people worship a deity called “God,” “Allah,” or “Jehovah”; or whether they read from the Bible, the Qur’an, or the Book of Mormon. Any religious culture has the potential to subscribe, and be subjected, to authoritarian “rule.”

Tarico: Is child maltreatment one of those areas where faith has “gotten a free pass?” – Can people can do things in the name of faith that would be considered unacceptable otherwise?

Heimlich: I can name many examples where child abuse in religious communities is more or less accepted, while the same maltreatment would never be tolerated in secular communities. Often, apologists for this abuse—even though these individuals would never call what is going on abuse—defend the actions of the faithful in the name of religious freedom. In other words, they claim that critics who advocate that children should be treated better are really attacking people’s right to practice their faith. A perfect example is faith-healing-related child deaths, where adults believe that they have a right not to take a sick child to the doctor based on their religious beliefs.

Tarico: What can people of faith do to address these problems?

Heimlich: In Breaking Their Will, I discuss a number of solutions that could help reduce religious child maltreatment. Real change is only going to come when faith communities face some truths that, traditionally, they have not faced. And it starts with recognizing that faith can both help and hurt children. I compare religion to cars, guns, and fire: They all have the potential to greatly help people, but they can also be extremely dangerous when precautions are not met. All that said, some religious leaders and other members of faith communities have taken bold stands against child maltreatment, including that which is motivated by religious belief. For example, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have traditionally opposed the corporal punishment of children; some religious leaders have turned in to authorities adults who have been accused of abusing children; and many others try to educate their communities about the need to take the problem of child abuse seriously.

Tarico: Should secular authorities engage as well – or will that only result in “circling the wagons?”

Heimlich: Children in religious authoritarian cultures greatly need the help that is offered by secular agencies, such as law enforcement and child protective services. But, for a host of reasons, adults living in those cultures are unlikely to reach out to those agencies. Many mistrust anything related to government. Some even believe such agencies work for the devil. Therefore, it is imperative for police, social workers, and government officials to reach out to faith communities that they suspect are abusing children to try to bridge what has been a very big gap of mistrust and miscommunication. I interviewed two state attorneys general who are doing just that, and they have seen improvement. One is Utah’s Mark Shurtleff who decided that fundamentalist Mormon groups would no longer be prosecuted just for practicing polygamy, unless they stand accused of abusing children. Shurtleff has also offered these groups psychological counseling. One of the counselors told me that there have been reports of child abuse, whereas before, no one would have reported abuse. Also, Oregon’s John Foote has tried to make inroads with a sect that was allowing children to get very sick and die because of members’ zealous beliefs in faith healing. Foote told me how one member of the group, a father, even called Foote to get advice on what he should do if his children got sick. Of course, Foote told the man, who did not give his name, that he should call a doctor.

Tarico: Has your book aroused detractors?

Heimlich: It’s too early to tell, since the book has just become available. (The release date is June 1.) But as I was doing my research and telling people about the subject of the book, I found that liberal believers strongly agreed that religious child maltreatment is real and a serious problem. I can’t tell you how many people have expressed relief that I wrote this book. On the other hand, conservative believers have tended to reject the notion that anything bad could come from religion. Rather, they want to only blame individuals rather than seeing the systemic problems that plague communities, generation after generation. Many apologists say that people who abuse children in a religious context are not “true” believers, so we should ignore religion as an influencing factor. My feeling is, many of those naysayers are rather ignorant about what is contained in religious texts and doctrines, as some seem to condone authoritarian parenting if not abuse. But, more importantly, is anyone truly qualified to determine what makes a “true” Christian, a “real” Jew, or a perfectly devout Muslim? I think we’d be a lot better off if we focused less on judging people’s religiosity and focused more on whether children’s needs are being met in religious environments.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt. Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.

High-profile cases such as the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and "faith healing" deaths in certain fundamentalist Christian congregations have made the public aware that religion can sometimes mask deviant and harmful behavior. But the extent of the problem is far greater than most people realize. This revealing, disturbing, and thoroughly researched book exposes a dark side of faith that most Americans do not know exists or have ignored for a long time—religious child maltreatment. After speaking with dozens of victims, perpetrators, and experts, and reviewing a myriad of court cases and studies, the author explains how religious child maltreatment happens. She then takes an in-depth look at the many forms of child maltreatment found in religious contexts, including biblically-prescribed corporal punishment and beliefs about the necessity of "breaking the wills" of children; scaring kids into faith and other types of emotional maltreatment such as spurning, isolating, and withholding love; pedophilic abuse by religious authorities and the failure of religious organizations to support the victims and punish the perpetrators; and religiously-motivated medical neglect in cases of serious health problems. In a concluding chapter, Heimlich raises questions about children’s rights and proposes changes in societal attitudes and improved legislation to protect children from harm. While fully acknowledging that religion can be a source of great comfort, strength, and inspiration to many young people, Heimlich makes a compelling case that, regardless of one’s religious or secular orientation, maltreatment of children under the cloak of religion can never be justified and should not be tolerated.



One year since Troppers fall 24 said...

Baltimore Jewish Times:

"Conversion Agency Founder Quits Amid Controversy

December 23, 2009 New York JTA Wire Service

The head of an organization that oversees conversions to Judaism has resigned amid accusations of sexual improprieties.

Rabbi Leib Tropper, head of the Eternal Jewish Family based in New York, is leaving the independent organization he founded five years ago.

Tropper, in a statement released this week by the organization, said his desire to “pursue a variety of other interests” led him to resign.

Stories have surfaced recently of his sexual misconduct while overseeing the conversion process. A woman, whose name has not been released, told FailedMessiah.com that Tropper allegedly asked for sexual favors in return for completing her conversion process.

Tropper, the woman claims, also arranged for sexual encounters between herself and Tropper’s wife that the rabbi allegedly watched. Tropper also is accused of allegedly pressuring woman to engage in sexual encounters with other men.

According to FailedMessiah.com, the alleged female victim made unauthenticated video and audio tapes of sexual encounters with Tropper intended for leading rabbis involved with Eternal Jewish Family, yet the tapes were leaked through the Internet to various bloggers over the past few days.

“These tapes appear to support her claims,” FailedMessiah.com wrote.

Tropper did not address the accusations in the statement announcing his resignation.

Over the summer, billionaire EJF financier Guma Aguiar accused Tropper of embezzling funds from the organization, and the two since then have been engaged in an ongoing dispute."

C said...


"I came to the conclusion that children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect if they live in religious authoritarian cultures. There are three perfect-storm factors that identify a religious culture or community as authoritarian: one, the culture has a strict, social hierarchy. Two, the culture is fearful. And three, the culture is separatist. The more intense these three factors are—the more authoritarian the culture is—the more likely children will be harmed."

Any religious person who thinks would know that Gd does not let or desire children to be raped into submission in hs name.

You, Aguda, and you, Torah Umesorah, and YOU, orthodoxy, carry the weight of hundreds of rape and molest victims on your shuoulders, in which you protected child rapists because of the political and financial advantages you had.
For shame!!

ישר כוח said...

((CALL TO ACTION)) Please plan to attend the Weberman hearing this Wednesday, 5/11, @ 9 AM, Kings Supreme Court - Criminal Term, Part 10, Judge Mondo, and support his alleged victim(s). At Weberman's last hearing, there were over 45 survivor supports - let's keep up the momentum!

For more information, please visit:


Tropper is a Rasputin said...

Tropper who seduced the rabbinical leadership and the Russian "monk" Rasputin who seduced the Russian aristocracy bringing about their downfall have almost identical paths bribery and seduction and other immoral "behaviors" -- for example see the:

"Romanov Archives - Okhrana Surveillance Report on Rasputin

From the Red Archives, Russian State Papers and other documents relating to the years 1915-1918

Translated by A. L. Hynes
Imported into HTML by Rob Moshein



From the data of the external surveillance over Gregory Rasputin from the 1st Jan., 1915, up to the 10th Feb., 1916.

...3 November. An unknown woman visited Rasputin with a view to soliciting his aid on behalf of her husband, an ensign, who was lying in one of the Petrograd hospitals. She wished him to be kept there. Coming down the stairs she told theporter's wife how strange she thought Rasputin and described her reception. "I was admitted by a girl, who took me into a room, where I waited for Rasputin. I had not met him before. The first thing he said to me was: 'Come with me; undress.'I took my clothes off and followed him through a door, leading into a room to the left. He paid scant attention to my petition, but plucked my face, then my breasts, mumbling all the time: 'Kiss me, I have taken a fancy to you.' When he had written the note I was asking him for, he began bothering me again: 'Kiss me, kiss me; I love you.' In the end he would not give me the note, saying: 'I am angry with you, come tomorrow.' " The agent Terekhov asked the lady whether she intended coming back, but she answered: "No; going to him for assistance means paying money in advance - anything he cares to name. Since I cannot do that, I shall not return."

...14 December. At approximately two o'clock at night Rasputin was seen coming out of No. 11 Furstadtskaia Street, the residence of Svechina [wife of a Colonel in the General Staff], accompanied by Maria Markovna Yacininskaia, a woman of twenty-one years of age and the wife of a burgess who lives at No. 104 on the Moika. They went by car in the direction of Novaia Derevnia to the Villa Rode Restaurant, where, however, they were not admitted owing to the lateness of the hour. Determined to get in, Rasputin started banging on the door and pulling at the bell, having previously tipped the policeman on duty in order that he might not interfere with his roistering. Eventually they drove to No. 49 Novaia Derevnia to Massalsky's Gypsy Chorus, where they stayed till ten o'clock the next morning. They emerged, both fairly drunk, and went to Yasininskaia's flat, whence Rasputin departed at twelve o'clock. Towards the evening he left for Tsarskoe-Selo."

Jewish SEAL- (NO JOKE) said...

Osama bin Laden was given a religious funeral prior to his burial at sea, senior military officials told Fox News.

Religious rites were conducted on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier at about 1:10 a.m. Monday in the Persian Gulf.

In accordance with Islamic practice, bin Laden's body was washed and wrapped in a
white sheet before buried at sea at 2 a.m. local time, senior U.S. military and intelligence officials said.

Then, "In accordance with common US Navy SEAL practice, the Team pissed on him, stuck a pulled
pork sandwich in his mouth and a kosher hot dog up his ass, and pushed the worthless bastard
overboard with the other garbage,"
a senior SEAL officer said.

I was there!

Yeshiva tuition Bonanza said...

Follow the hyperlink on my title, Yeshiva tuition Bonanza, and then click on the "$10,000 tuition break" image to find out how easy it is to get a $10,000 tuition break at ANY yeshiva!

Because the entity running this raffle is not nationally known, there have not been many tickets sold, making the odds of winning very good.

If you do not have children in yeshiva you can transfer the prize to someone who does.

Anonymous said...

Reb UOJ,
On Maryles's blog, some people are discussing your heilige Zaida's feelings towards the state of Israel. Want to set the record straight?
Oh, and by the way, a shul in Chicago which is trying to let itself be taken over by Agudanuts/charedim has discontued the prayer for the State of Israel/soldiers. Do you think they'd attract more charedim by also instituting a mesheberach for the welfare of molestors and their protectors?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz used to stress that there are two aspects to G-d's remembrance on Rosh Hashanah. The first is a person's deeds, which refers to his or her religious observance (ma'aseh ish). The second is to the fulfillment of his or her unique mission in life (u'pikudaso).

We might think that the former is the most important aspect of our judgment on Rosh Hashanah. But, Rabbi Shraga Feivel taught, that is not the case. The way that we fulfill our mission is often most determinative of our judgment on Rosh Hashanah.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

I recently saw an interesting vignette in the published history of a distinguished family of German descent. It was a year after the Rosh Hayeshivah of Mesivta Torah Vodaath, Horav Yaakov Kamenetzky, zl, had arrived at the Mesivta.

At that time, he was teaching a daily blatt shiur, Talmud class. Horav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, zl, the Menahel of Torah Vodaath, would teach Pirkei Avos from time to time to the older students. When he came to 1:17, in which the Tanna says, "All my life I have been raised among the sages, and I have not found anything better than silence," he explained that the Tanna had studied all the hanhagos, practices, of the chachamim, sages.

This refers to not only their Torah teachings, but even their everyday, mundane practices, because the hanagah of a Torah scholar is in itself a manner of teaching dinnim, Jewish laws, and mussar, ethical behavior.

Suddenly, one of the students in the class raised his hand and asked, "Can we today, at the Mesivta, also emulate and derive lessons from all the hanhagos of all the rebbeim?"

A total silence permeated the room at the audacity of the question. Rav Mendlowitz remained silent, as he sternly stared at the questioner.

Finally he responded, "To publicly ask such a question is chutzpah, insolence. However, since you asked the question, I must answer it. For me to state unequivocally that a rebbe who teaches in the Mesivta is on the madreigah, spiritual plateau, that every practice of his is similar to a din in the Shulchan Aruch, code of Jewish law, it would be essential that I be acquainted with every aspect of his private and family life, in addition to his hanhagah in the Mesivta. Since I am not aware of every rebbe's private life, I am not able to give an educated reply.

There is, however, one rebbe whose behavior both in the Mesivta and in his private life I have studied very carefully, and I have reached the conclusion that each hanhagah of his is like a din in the Shulchan Aruch. That rebbe is Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky. He is a very good example of what the Tanna in the Mishnah had in mind."

Rav Shraga Feivel was an individual who exemplified this virtue. He was a man whose every nuance was a lesson to be studied and emulated. Indeed, the following episode bears witness to this gadol's integrity and its influence on others. Towards the end of 1956, Shimon Linchner, a grandson of Rav Shraga Feivel, who had recently become engaged, fell seriously ill and tragically passed away shortly before he was to have been married. It was a terrible blow to the family and to the entire yeshiva.

The Rosh Hayeshivah, Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky, was maspid, eulogized, the niftar, deceased. He mentioned that it was well-known that Rav Shraga Feivel refused to ask for deference on behalf of any of his family members.

Everyone was to be considered equal.

Undoubtedly, Rav Yaakov said he carried this hanhagah with him into the Olam Ha'Emes, World of Truth, even for his beloved grandson. Thus, the Middas Ha'Din, Attribute of Strict Justice, was empowered to have its full jurisdiction.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Reb Shraga Feivel's reasons for being a Zionist:

Without losing sight of the antireligious nature of the leaders of the yishuv in Eretz Yisrael, he nevertheless saw the creation of a Jewish state as an act of Providence and as a cause for rejoicing. At the very least, there would now be one country in the world whose gates would be open to the thousands of Holocaust survivors still languishing in Displaced Persons Camps in Germany and Austria.

Reb Shraga Feivel gave voice to the ambivalence with which religious Jews around the world greeted the creation of an independent Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael nearly two millennia after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash by Titus' army. On the one hand, there was the recognition that the new state led by those raised in ideologies hostile to Torah was not the return of the Davidic kingdom for which they had prayed so long. Yet coming a scant three years after the greatest tragedy in modern Jewish history, it was hard not to hope that the new state was a harbinger of a new life for the survivors.

In a famous parable, Reb Shraga Feivel compared the new state to a breech birth. When a baby is born normally, head first, Reb Shraga Feivel said, the delivery is easiest and safest for the mother, and augurs best for the future development of the infant. In the context of the establishment of Jewish political sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael, a head-first birth would have been one in which the great Torah leaders, the true heads of the nation, led the way. But even in a breech birth, despite the danger to the infant, one can still hope that it will live and be healthy. Perhaps Chazal were referring to the legs-first manner in which the new state was born, Reb Shraga Feivel concluded, when they said (Yalkut Shimoni to Amos, 549), In a generation that rejects Hashem, expect the footsteps of Mashiach,

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Four days after the United Nations vote, on 19 Kislev, Reb Shraga Feivel spoke in Bais Medrash Elyon, to present his talmidim with a Torah perspective on the event. He began by emphasizing that in the absence of prophecy no one could interpret the U.N. declaration with any certitude. Nevertheless the whole tenor of his remarks reflected his hope that the moment was a positive one for the Jewish people. He described three aspects of the final redemption: the redemption of the Land, the ingathering of the exiles, and the return of the Divine Presence to her proper place. The redemption of the Land is the first of the three. The Sages (Megillah 17b) explain why the blessing over fruitfulness of the Land (Birkas Hashanim) comes before the blessing for the ingathering of the exiles. The prophet Yechezkel says, And you, mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and lift up your fruits to My people Israel, for they are soon to come (Yechezkel 36:8). In other words, the physical rebirth of the Land and its release from foreign domination is the prelude to the return of the exiles. (See p.x )

Reb Shraga Feivel suggested that the present moment paralleled the return of the exiles from Babylonia under Ezra and Nechemiah, which had come about only through the permission of a gentile ruler, King Cyrus. Just as Cyrus in his time had his own reasons for allowing the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem, so the nations of the U.N. no doubt had interests of their own that they sought to advance by allowing a Jewish state. But, in the final analysis, the heart of a king is in Hashem s hands; He directs it where He wants (Mishlei 21:1).

Reb Shraga Feivel followed his comparison of the U.N. and Cyrus to its logical conclusion. While agreeing that the Torah leaders of the past two generations had been absolutely correct in directing their followers to have nothing to do with the Zionist movement, the question of the hour was: What should the Torah world do now after having witnessed Heavenly intervention? To that question, there could be only one answer: It was incumbent upon all bnei Torah to do everything in their power to ensure that the voice of Torah increase and be heard in the new state:

Paul Mendlowitz said...

It is our duty to participate in the building of the State, physically and spiritually & the choice is in our hands. Will we make ourselves a high wall and go up, as they failed to do in the days of Ezra? If causeless hatred prevails among us, the arousal of Divine favor from above could all be lost. We must be the pioneers of Torah. We must form a nation worthy of the Land, a nation of Torah.

The thrust of his remarks was that the future of Eretz Yisrael would be determined by the response of religious Jews to the new opportunity. If they rose to the challenge, he suggested, it would be possible to create a land filled with Torah. Reb Shraga Feivel noted that those who failed to take advantage of Cyrus' permission to return to the Land are severely criticized in both the Gemara and the Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabah 8:9). The Sages give the following interpretation to the verse in Shir Hashirim: If her faith and belief are strong as a wall we shall become her fortress and beauty, building her city and Holy Temple, but if she wavers like a door, with fragile cedar panels shall we then enclose her.

The Talmud (Yuma 9b) comments that if Israel s faith had been strong like a wall and the people had unanimously followed Ezra back to Eretz Yisrael, they would have been privileged to have the full glory of the Shechinah in the Second Beis Hamikdash, just as it had been in the First. But since only a small minority followed Ezra, the Shechinah was lacking in the Second Temple. Instead of being like silver, which never rusts, the people were likened to cedar, which warps and rots. Those who remained in Babylonia, writes Rashi (to Yuma 9b), prevented the Shechinah from returning to dwell in the Second Beis Hamikdash. Reb Shraga Feivel strongly implied that the Jewish people should not miss such an opportunity a second time by remaining aloof from the fate of the Land or being reticent about going there.

In response to those who claimed that Providence would not have made the United Nations the instrument to make such a gift to the Jewish people, Reb Shraga Feivel compared the current phenomenon to the events of Purim. In that miracle, the Sages saw Hashem working His will through Achashveirosh, clearly an unworthy person. Do Chazal not tell us, he asked, that the first steps of the final redemption will go very slowly, to be followed by a sudden burst of light, just as the sun suddenly appears in the morning? (Midrash Shir Hashirim 6:10, Yerushalmi Berachos 1:1, Yerushalmi Yoma 3:2.)

He did not deny that there was merit in opposing views, nor did he think that his reading of events was beyond question. To those close to him he admitted that others might be right from a logical point of view, but nevertheless maintained my heart tells me that our approach is the right approach.

The Thinking Jew said...

"Without losing sight of the antireligious nature of the leaders of the yishuv in Eretz Yisrael, he nevertheless saw the creation of a Jewish state as an act of Providence and as a cause for rejoicing. At the very least, there would now be one country in the world whose gates would be open to the thousands of Holocaust survivors still languishing in Displaced Persons Camps in Germany and Austria. "

UOJ, have you ever seen the famous paper published by R' Weissmandel, zt"l, on the Zionist's indifferance to the European Jews state because of their rejection of the Zionist agenda?

Paul Mendlowitz said...

The attitudes and backgrounds of the founding Zionist pioneers of Israel are well known.

But if not for Ben-Gurion, every single Orthodox child, including young ladies, would have had to serve in the army, and, while that of in itself is not a bad thing, we know how difficult it would have been for them (at that time) to maintain an observant lifestyle.

As RSFM held, Divine Providence has given us back the land, we religious and secular Jews have a responsibility to work together to build a Jewish State.

To us, it meant a State, guided by the Torah, to them it meant perhaps something different. But ultimately our survival as Jews were totally dependent on each other then, as is now, regardless of our religious or political beliefs.

Gavriel Bidany said...


May 5, 2011

A touchy-feely Orthodox rabbi was found guilty today by a federal judge for groping a female Israel Defense Forces officer during a flight aboard a commercial jetliner bound for New York.

Gavriel Bidany, 48, a father of 11 children, was traveling on a Delta flight from Tel Aviv and seated next to the young woman, who had fallen asleep.

The woman had testified in Brooklyn federal court that she awoke to find the man's hand massaging her crotch and then her breasts.

"I immediately said, 'What are you doing? You're touching me!' " she said.

The rabbi pretended to be dozing and feigned innocence, she said.

Bidany had taken the stand in his own defense before Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes Jr.

Bidany faces up to six months behind bars when he sentenced May 12. He remains free on bail.

Ramat Beit Shemesh said...


It has come to our attention that there is a man driving around Ramat Bet Shemesh who has tried to abduct children, usually girls from the street.

He has seen to be driving an old white 1991 year Subaru type car (box like). He is darkish in complexion, has a beard (not short), and was wearing a velvet Kippa. The car seats had lines on them – in a crisscross pattern which creates a pattern of small ‘boxes’ or ‘squares’.

His modus operandi seems to be that he drives next to the child, stops and calls to them saying he has sweets/mamtakim, or that he is lost and needs directions on how to go out of the Rama. When the children
approached the car he tried to grab them and then attempted to molest them.

His last known attempts were on Nahal Arugot. This person may have been seen a few years ago doing similar activities – or at times sitting in a car doing activities not meant for the public domain.

Anyone who notices anything strange of this nature should take down a number plate and if possible take photos and certainly intervene if one sees a child being lured into such a car, in this manner. Please
note any identifying information, such as location of incident, type of car, color of car, notable dents on the car, description of the person and what he is wearing, smells and any other details, even if they seem inconsequential at the time.

For victims, it’s essential that the police are informed so that they can investigate and arrest this person.

Anonymous said...

Miami molester Amram Bendahan is in Ramat Beit Shemesh now.

Put him in costume on the Agudah dais said...

Follow the link to see this idiot in costume


McGruff the Crime Dog has fallen on hard times. Actor John Morales, who dressed as the famous bloodhound known for taking a “bite out of crime,” has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Failed Shmatta said...



Imagine how Shmarya and his followers would have reacted if an orthodox Jew complained that Blacks in NYC are disproportionately gobbling up all the welfare resources.

They'd be screaming RACISM! But it's ok to bash as long as you substitute Jews for Blacks.