Sunday, November 25, 2007

Listen to the voice of my cry, my King, and my God; for to you I will pray.

Government Dependency And The Sacrifice Of Torah Ideals

By:Sara Lehmann

I recently called a friend in Israel and we exchanged news about our families. My friend’s nineteen-year-old daughter is currently involved in shidduchim and is looking exclusively for a husband who will be a full-time learner. My friend’s description of the process provided revealing insights into the Israeli counterpart of a world I know well in chutz l’aretz.
Her daughter’s wish to marry someone who does not plan on working is quite the ordre du jour these days. But in light of current and past circumstances in Israel and their effects on the Jewish people as a whole, it seems to me that this wish involves ramifications that should transcend a personal choice.
My friend’s daughter never lacked for anything and seems quite unprepared to live a life of Torah under privation, despite her protests to the contrary. Her parents plan to pick up the tab, as many parents in such a situation do. So many of these girls’ idealistic pursuits are buttressed by the pocketbooks of those who enable them.
But there are limits, especially with younger siblings in the household. My friend’s daughter will not even consider someone who may have a long-term plan to support his family, and my friend’s dismay at this extreme attitude is not unlike that of many other families in Israel and in America. I have attended countless shidduch meetings in New York where mothers bemoan this stance their children have adopted yet seem powerless to do anything about it.
Of course Torah is the bedrock of Judaism, and of course Torah learning is what sustains this foundation. Without it we Jews would simply not survive as Jews, as evidenced by those who have thrown off the yoke of Torah and vanished through assimilation.
And yes, the concept of koveiah itim, setting aside time for Torah learning, is obligatory on all Jewish men. It is imperative that we have among us those who devote their lives to such a course so that we have talmidei chachamim to serve as rabbanim, dayanim and mechanchim in our communities.
Torah scholars are not mass produced, however, and not everyone has the potential to become one. The single-minded drive to pursue a kollel life at almost all cost is a relatively new phenomenon. One does not need to go back to the days of the Tannaim to ascertain how the greatest of our sages worked for a living. My mother grew up in a rabbinic (chassidic) home in Transylvania during World War II and clearly remembers the role of the father as the breadwinner of every household. She recalls how shameful it was for a husband to have to rely on his wife’s earnings.
My friend in Israel attributes much of her daughter’s leanings to her teachers. She told me that teachers in her daughter’s school in Petach Tikvah will not even use the word “work” when referring to an eligible young man’s plans for the future. They have come up with a euphemism to replace the dirty word, and they admonish their students not to even consider dating someone who plans “la tzeit” – “to go out.”
I wonder if these young men recognize the irony of their having achieved a similar status to that of the ideal bat Yisrael, who is extolled by King David for not going out (“kol kevodah bat melech pnimah– Tehillim 45).
Opting for such a lifestyle places an enormous burden on the wife. She usually becomes the sole earner of the family and no longer serves as the akeret habayit to her children at home. Invaluable opportunities to teach children basic lessons in manners and rules of social interaction based on Torah values are frequently squandered without the proper mentors.
While no one denies our obligation to support talmidei chachamim in kollel, a carte blanche invitation to all has engendered dependency as a matter of course.
In Israel the situation is particularly acute. Unlike my friend, many parents are not in a position to support their children. The stipends of the typical kollel do not go a long way, nor does whatever government assistance is available. Further, restrictions on attending college have limited the options of those who are forced to reconsider a kollel life and provide sustenance for their family.
And then there’s the larger picture: It is by no means a stretch to make the connection between the poverty afflicting this sector and ill-fated Israeli government decisions. Many of these citizens have grown accustomed to handouts in some form or another, and there is no shortage of willing politicians eager to fill the demand at any cost.
No wonder the Torah insists that the judges of Israel be independently wealthy (as were many of the leaders) and thus impervious to bribes. Needy leaders who represent needy followers are easy bait for corruption and coercion. And the leaders of political parties in Israel that represent the vast majority of this segment of society have supported policies whose consequences have been horrendous for their fellow Jews.
Shas’s endorsement of Oslo enabled the accords to pass in the Knesset – a debacle that spiraled downward into tragic consequences. How can a party steeped in Torah knowledge have agreed to give up parts of the land Hashem promised His children?
Even if one were to excuse Shas’s judgment as a mixture of naivete and a deep desire for peace, how can one forgive subsequent decisions? After thousands of Jews were slaughtered and maimed as a result of Oslo, how can Shas now sit in the government of Prime Minister Olmert, who reportedly plans to give the Palestinian Authority a state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and much of Jerusalem?
How did UTJ (United Torah Judaism-Agudah) justify joining the government coalition that approved the Gaza Disengagement? For that matter, why were so many of their American counterparts silent at the time? If ever a time of pikuach nefesh warranted action, that was it.
And what can one make of the endorsement of Shimon Peres for Israel’s presidency by Rav Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas? Peres, who has made a career of castigating the Jewish religion at every opportunity, won approbation from the likes of Rabbi Menachem Porush of Agudah and won the presidency through the enabling of Shas.
The moral compass of a state that should be directed by Judaic values is increasingly off-kilter. The religious right could have been at the forefront of combating this sickness and taking stands that would have made for a tremendous kiddush Hashem. As attested by their success at halting the gay parade last summer in Jerusalem, the potential strength of Torah Jewry should not be undervalued. Just imagine the results that could be achieved if dedication to Torah study were linked with Torah action in the political realm.
The personal dilemma my friend in Israel is grappling with has national consequences. Her daughter’s decision to subscribe to a system of living that does not promote working impacts more Jews than just those who adhere to it. The rumblings against Israeli government cutbacks that affect kollel families underscore just how intertwined the lives of those families have become with government largess – and highlight the necessity of financial independence in order to avoid conflicts of interest and outright corruption.
The Annapolis conference looms ahead and forebodes disaster. To relinquish any part of Eretz Yisrael – especially Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – is to relinquish the heartland of the Jewish people and create an immediate and irrevocable threat to Jewish lives. At this juncture we cannot afford to witness more tacit support in or out of the Knesset for such perfidy.

Where are the rabbinical leaders in Israel and America who will stand up and make a Kiddush Hashem worthy of the imprimatur of Torah scholarship?

Sara Lehmann, formerly an editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, is currently a mother and freelance editor residing in Brooklyn.


Saturday, 24 November 2007

School covered up sex abuse claims

A Manawatu school investigating a sexual abuse complaint against its principal appears to have attempted to cover up accusations made by a second boy involved.

Child, Youth and Family (CYF) has confirmed Hato Paora College's Board of Trustees reported allegations against Tihirau Shepherd from only one boy, in a letter dated July 30.

CYF had no knowledge of the second alleged victim until its own investigation uncovered his identity, more than a week later.

But on July 31, a Hato Paora staff member sent an email to the Manawatu Standard asserting the deputy principal was investigating complaints from two boys who had come forward at least a week earlier.

Shepherd was stood down as a result.

Education Minister Chris Carter is on record as saying the allegations were raised on July 23.

The staff member has since confirmed senior school management interviewed both boys individually, without a counsellor or their parents present, well before the letter to CYF was sent.

Their names were reportedly called out over the school intercom, effectively identifying them among their peers.

Both were then sent home.

In a written response to questions levelled at the school, Hato Paora spokeswoman Debi Marshall-Lobb said the board would not "discuss the confidential and in committee processes" of its investigation.

She did not deny any of the allegations raised.

The Ministry of Education refused to comment as to whether they were aware a second boy had laid allegations with the school, saying the case was before the courts.

The revelations are particularly damning for Mr Carter, who has repeatedly backed the school's protocols and emphasised in Parliament that its internal investigation was "transparent and thorough".

"New evidence - not available to the board at the time - was brought forward in October, and that enabled the police to reach a different conclusion," he said this week.

A CYF spokesperson said it took two months to locate and formally interview the second boy, as his family were initially wary of counsellors' efforts to speak with him.

The interview finally took place on October 15, nearly three months after the allegations were first raised at the school.

The spokesperson said the board also delayed the investigation by posting the letter, which outlined the allegations, to the CYF office in the first boy's home town.

It took two days to arrive, and only then could the rural branch alert the Palmerston North office to the issue.

Police formally became involved on Friday, August 3, though the Standard asked both police and the ministry about the allegations earlier that week.

Neither said they knew about the school's internal investigation when contacted.

Inter-agency protocols signed in 1996 by Police, CYF and the ministry offer guidelines to schools on how to handle sex abuse allegations made against staff.

These include alerting either police or CYF as early as possible.

Hato Paora sat on the allegations for at least nine days before its official notification reached the appropriate authorities.

During this time, the school's internal inquiry cleared Shepherd of any wrong-doing, only for police to arrest and charge him on six sex offences - dating back to 1990 - three months later.

Three further historic charges have since been laid.

In Chris Carter's parliamentary words...

Nov 14 - [To National's Katherine Rich] "Frankly, I think it is a disgrace that a member of Parliament would attempt to get a cheap political headline out of these serious sexual abuse allegations.

"The ministry took every appropriate step it needed to in this situation to ensure that the students were safe, and to give the board of trustees as much support as possible."

Nov 20 - "I repeat that the board could not have made any other decision, based on the allegations that it had before it.

"New evidence not available to the board at that time was brought forward in October, and that enabled the police to reach a different conclusion.''

Nov 21 - "The ministry checks that boards have those protocols in place.At Hato Paora College they were checked and they were in place.

"The board did all the right things that it was supposed to do.''Nov 22 "I remind this House that a protocol has been in place since 1996, and the school followed it in a speedy and appropriate way. At all times the interests of the students have been paramount.''

Questions to the Ministry

* Has the Ministry of Education at any time before today been aware that Hato Paora College reported allegations of sexual abuse to CYF from only one of the boys who laid complaints?
* Is the ministry aware a second boy who came forward was sent home by the school and CYF only uncovered him as a result of its own investigation?
* If the ministry has not been informed by any means of these actions, will it officially investigate whether the school attempted to influence the Police and CYF inquiries by not disclosing all the information at its disposal?

The ministry answered:

* "The questions you have raised involve one of the complainants in a trial currently before the court. Accordingly the Ministry of Education cannot respond."

Questions to Hato Paora College

* Why did the school only report allegations of sexual abuse against Tihirau Shepherd from one boy to CYF, when two complainants came forward?
* Did the school or anyone associated with the school speak with the family of the boy, whose allegations were not reported, before CYF found him through their own investigations?
* On what day in July was the first complaint laid against Mr Shepherd?
* How was it laid?
* How soon after that complaint was Mr Shepherd stood down as per protocol?
* Who was present with the two complainants when the school taped formal interviews with them as part of the internal inquiry, and when did that take place?
* Who represented the school in the interviews?

Hato Paora answered:

* "The Board of Trustees and Trust Board of Hato Paora College view the complaints/investigation process as a confidential one, and any such investigations are 'in committee' and are therefore 'in confidence'.
* "We will not discuss the confidential and in committee processes of the Board in the public media because that is likely to breach the privacy of individuals and present evidence which may be relevant to a criminal trial.

* "There is no intention to cover up any aspect of the process, which will be reviewed in due course by the Board or an independent person."

July 23:
* Allegations of sexual abuse laid with Hato Paora College against principal Tihirau Shepherd [according to Education Minister Chris Carter].

July 30:
* School Board of Trustees sends letter outlining allegations of one complainant to CYF by post

July 31:
* Manawatu Standard receives email from staff member detailing concerns.

August 1:
* Rural CYF branch receives letter, logs notification for Palmerston North office.

The Standard makes inquiries with police and Ministry of Education.

August 3:
* CYF involves police
* Hato Paora inform Ministry

August 7:
* CYF interviews first youth, investigation leads to identifying second youth.

October 15:
* CYF formally interviews second youth.

November 7:
* Police arrest and charge Shepherd with six sex offences

November 20:
* Three further historic charges laid.


Clergy abuse suit back on Vt. docket

Mistrial halted case vs. diocese

BURLINGTON, Vt. - A man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington over alleged sexual abuse by a priest returns to court Monday, five months after a judge abruptly declared a mistrial in his case.

The civil suit brought by James Turner, 46, a former Derby man who now resides in Virginia Beach, Va., will be tried again in Chittenden County Superior Court. It still will involve the same lawyers, some of the same witnesses, and the same issue - but with a new judge presiding.

Opening statements to the 10-woman, four-man jury, including two alternates, are set for next week.

"We look forward to bringing this case in front of the jury, and taking it through to completion," said Turner's lawyer, Jerome O'Neill.

The diocese and its lawyers did not comment.

The statewide diocese, which represents about 118,000 Roman Catholics in Vermont, has about 25 lawsuits pending that allege sexual abuse by priests. It has paid out more than $1 million in settlements in other cases, but Turner's was the first to go to trial.

Turner says that Alfred Willis, who was then a priest, performed a sex act on him in a Latham, N.Y., hotel room after attending a June 1977 ordination for Turner's brother. Turner, who was 16 at the time, did not sue the diocese until 2004 - more than 26 years later.

Willis, who denies the allegations, settled out of court with Turner and was removed from the case against the diocese that alleges church officials are liable for his behavior.

The church contends that it had no prior knowledge of sexual misconduct with minors by Willis and cannot be held liable in the case.

The first trial ended unexpectedly June 25 when Judge Ben Joseph ruled that David Cleary, a lawyer for the diocese, had overstepped the limits of a pretrial order restricting what could be asked of Turner about an alleged sexual relationship between Turner's brother and Willis.

Joseph later ordered the diocese to pay Turner's legal fees and expenses - more than $112,000 - for causing the mistrial. And, in an Oct. 5 order, Joseph imposed the trial costs on the diocese, saying the mistrial delayed the progress of other sex abuse claims against the diocese and gave the church an advantage in preparing for the retrial.


Diocese sex abuse payments approved

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The final payments are going out to victims of sexual abuse in the $85 million class-action settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

Each of the more than 350 victims in the case will receive 100 percent of what two special masters determined they should get.

While the money helps, it doesn't heal old wounds caused by sexual abuse and doesn't absolve the church from its responsibility to victims, say two abuse victims who now work as advocates for others.

"Sadly, settlement alone does not equal recovery," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, who works as outreach coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The settlement is between the Covington Diocese and more than 350 people abused by priests and diocese employees since the 1950s in 57 counties across a large swath of Kentucky.

It calls for victims to receive from $5,000 to $1 million based on the severity and duration of the abuse they suffered. Some money has also been set aside to pay for counseling for abuse victims.

The settlement master in the case approved the final payments last week, said attorney Stan Chesley, who represents the victims in the case. The payments should be in the hands of the plaintiffs by the end of the month, Chesley said.

David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, said the payments do compensate victims, but are also a business decision by the church to "prevent embarrassing trials." Without the lawsuit, it is unlikely the church would have acknowledged or compensated the victims, Clohessy said.

"Few, if any, of these brave victims would have achieved a scintilla of closure and justice had they not found the courage to speak up and the wisdom to get legal help," Clohessy said.

Clohessy and Dorris said victims should continue to come forward and report priests and church officials who have sexually abused them in the past and the church should deal with those people.

"The bishop's responsibility doesn't end here," Clohessy said.

Calls and e-mails sent to a Diocese of Covington spokesman and an attorney on Tuesday and Wednesday were not returned.

The Covington diocese now spans 14 counties and has 89,000 parishioners. The lawsuit also covers some Kentucky counties that were part of the diocese until 1988, when a new diocese in Lexington formed.


Sunday NOVEMBER 25, 2007 Last modified: Friday, November 23, 2007 11:38 AM PST

$50 million sex-abuse settlement with Alaska Natives

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay $50 million to more than 100 Alaska Natives who allege sexual abuse by Jesuit priests, a lawyer for the accusers said Sunday.

The settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is the largest one yet against a Catholic religious order, said Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa, who called it ‘‘a great day’’ for the 110 victims.

‘‘These are people who were altar boys and altar servers and altar girls,’’ Roosa said. ‘‘These are people who tried to tell their story and in many instances were beaten or told to shut up and told, ’How can you say such things about a man of God?’’’

The settlement does not require the order to admit fault, Roosa said. None of the priests were ever criminally charged.

The settlement announcement is premature because some issues need to be finalized, said the Very Rev. John Whitney, provincial superior of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, which covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

‘‘When those issues are resolved we will be available for a more complete discussion of the matter,’’ Whitney said in a prepared statement. He described the settlement announcement as ‘‘premature and detrimental.’’

Roosa said issues involving the plaintiffs had been resolved.

Roosa provided The Associated Press with an e-mail sent Friday from Dick Hansen, the lawyer representing the religious order. In the e-mail, Hansen says he’s glad to ‘‘put this matter to rest.’’ Hansen did not immediately return a call from the AP seeking comment.

The sexual abuse allegations involved 13 or 14 clerics and spanned nearly 30 years, from 1961 to 1987, Roosa said. The children’s ages ranged from 5 years to teenage.

‘‘Despite all this, no Catholic religious leader has yet to admit that problem priests were dumped in Alaska. For our clients, this settlement represents a long overdue acknowledgment of the truth of their stories of abuse, stories that until today were largely denied and belittled by apologists for the abusers,’’ Roosa said.

The Catholic Church first was notified of the Alaska cases of abuse in 2002.Those 135 lawsuits have been reduced to 10. Those cases are expected to be mediated in December.


With online child porn, the abuse lasts forever

By Medb Ruane
Saturday November 24 2007

The actor Chris Langham gently stooped to feed his hens this week, watched by Sky News cameras and a rather quiet Anna Botting. Poor Chris, nurturing his chicks, staging the performance of his life as a man brought down by misunderstanding after he'd downloaded child porn in the interest of "research".

Chris spoke to Botting about his personal suffering, caused by a trial on 27 charges, including indecent assault, buggery of a female minor and 15 child porn downloads. The BAFTA-award winning star of The Thick of It and Help was acquitted of assault and buggery but spent months in prison, for downloading images, where people were very mean to him. Now a free man, his reputation was in ruins, he was broke and he wanted to set the record straight.

"There is an assumption that if you look at images like this, therefore you must have a sexual interest in children and it's an odd logic because one of the reasons was I wanted to write about it," Langham told Botting, insisting he was not a paedophile. What he did was wrong, but not motivated by sexual prurience, he claimed.

Langham fleshed out his self-portrait, as an artist and intellectual dedicated to higher purposes than ordinary mortals, with details of the abuse he'd allegedly suffered as a child and how it had been filmed. He was dangerously persuasive.

Calling ordinary thinking "odd logic" is fairly typical of child abusers and porn users encountering hostile laws. There's always a rationale, as the plethora of explanations after Operation Amethyst shows.

In Galway this week, Judge Raymond Groark named downloading child porn as a "most heinous crime" when he sentenced former Garda Jarlath Heverin for a similar offence. Heverin's rationale was also of the man-with-a-higher-purpose kind, claiming that he wanted to infect child porn sites with viruses and take them out. That was technically unlikely.

So why would you look at child porn other than for kicks? Actual kicks because you get off on seeing children assaulted / abused / corrupted/ sexualised, or the hope of kicks on the reasoning that if so many are downloading porn images, there must be something worthwhile.

The harsh facts are that internet child porn is the fastest-growing porn market in decades and, because it is, societies need to be very clear about where lines must be drawn and why. If not, the real risk is that viewing child porn may be presented as a lifestyle choice, one of 57 varieties for people who are a bit jaded with the usual porn on offer.

Child porn and child sexual abuse have long been presented as a lifestyle choice by the minority who get off on them, and see no reason why society should put obstacles in their way. It's always been around -- and condemned -- but it's become more openly regarded as "heinous", to borrow from Judge Groarke, the more society raises the status of the child and recognises its wholly damaging lifelong effects.

If you read Sophia's Story, written by Sophia McColgan with Susan McKay, you're left in no doubt about the consequences of sexual abuse and the break in faith with humanity it represents. Big hurts ruin you for years when you're a child -- sometimes forever, as the stories of clerical sex abuse victims so unequivocally testify.

Is there room for ambivalence when an act of child sex abuse is downloaded to be witnessed, rather than done in person? Does distance make it more acceptable?

Users and abusers justify their actions in all sorts of ways -- the aesthetic appeal of a child, the claim to be introducing the child to sexual pleasure, or whatever version of doing the child a favour they perversely fancy. But the bottom line is that a child is abused and objectified, and the effects will endure long after the viewing session ends.

Ian O'Donnell and Claire Milner's book Crime Computers and Society, also published this week, points to how laws lag behind this new crime, even though the legislation is only nine years old. Although Gardai found more than 200 suspects in Ireland in a (brief) four-year period, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed no prosecution be taken in over a third, due to lack of evidence that could stand up in court.

They also point out the radical difference of internet child porn from so-called traditional fare. Digital images last forever, potentially, so the victim is abused in virtual time again and again. It is never over. The suffering never stops.

Whether a viewer is turned on by children or so tuned out ethically they indulge their sexual curiosity, the market grows. The more it does, the bigger the opportunity of turning greater numbers of children into objects whose distress can be justified commercially. And the more likely that people with no special interest in child sex will see it as an opportunity to make money, like any other entrepreneur.

Most viewers aren't paedophiles: they can have sexual relations with adults, unlike outright perverts.

That's the really worrying aspect of internet child porn -- sheer curiosity can create an appetite in the most "normal" folk.

- Medb Ruane


St. Leo's Has First Week Without Accused Priest


It is the first week without their priest for parishioners at a Catholic church in Little Italy. Reverend Michael Salerno has been removed from his post after allegations of child sex abuse going back more than 30 years. Some members at St. Leo's Church tell Tim Williams it will not be the same.

Parishioners walking to Saint Leo's Catholic Church passed signs of support for Father Michael Salerno.

A member of St. Leo's Catholic Church hands out window signs door to door in Little Italy. They say "We Support Father Mike" and, in Italian, "Come Back Soon."

"A bunch of us thought we have to support this man somehow. I mean, he has been so supportive of everyone down here. For good or for bad," said parishioner Givanna Blattermann.

Father Mike Salerno, age 61, has been accused of sexual child abuse by a man who says it took place in Brooklyn, New York, in the 70s. The accuser says he was a young teen then and Salerno was a lay brother, not yet a priest.

This is the first Sunday since Father Mike's removal.

Father Salerno is a member of the Pallatine Fathers.

In a statement, they say he agreed to cooperate fully with their procedures on investigating allegations of child sex abuse and agreed to get counseling.

"We all love him and it happened, what, over 30 years ago. I'm sure he's paid for his sins if he's guilty. Let's get on with it. Really, he's done so much for St. Leo's. He's brought more people into the church," said Anne Rinaldi.

Father Mike had a high profile in Little Italy, promoting events in the community and the church. A victim of priest abuse says a single allegation must be well investigated, but a victim coming forward long after abuse isn't unusual.

"Because the same we carry, we think it's our fault. We think we're the only ones and think we're going to be chastised for it," said Francis Bacon.

At church on Sunday, parishioners were told why Father Mike had not been at St. Leo's all week and the order of priests asked other possible victims to come forward.

No criminal charges have been brought in the case and experts say New York's statute of limitations would prevent it.

No word on how long the diocese investigation will take.


Tamil Nadu - Chennai

Empowering the community against child sexual abuse

Staff Reporter

Community urged to unite to fight the menace

“Much of the violence against children was due to ignorance”

CHENNAI: Elements of street theatre and mime were woven together by members of the Karunalaya Social Service Society to convey the violence of child sexual abuse here on Sunday.

Distraught children and parents are often shrugged aside by an insensitive police force, leading to denial of justice, according to ‘Creative Expressions’ – the show aimed at empowering the community against child sexual abuse.

N. Paul Sunder Singh, director of the Karunalaya Social Service Society, recalled that a survey undertaken by the organisation in north Chennai sometime ago had revealed that about 70 per cent of children were abused by those in the immediate neighbourhood, roughly 37 per cent at their schools and about the same percentage at home. Several hundred children and their mothers from north Chennai participated in the event, held to mark the International Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse that falls on Monday.

Opinions shared

After watching the performance, in which incidents of child abuse by perpetrators across age and gender were narrated, the participants shared their opinions. Teenagers Asha, Srilekha and Shyamala told the gathering to put fear behind them when dealing with cases of child abuse. The lack of awareness among parents and children was exacerbating the problem. Members of the community, including children, must unite to fight the menace of together, they said.

Educationist S.S. Rajagopalan said much of the violence against children was due to ignorance. In this context, sex education becomes imperative. Police apathy and insensitivity and the lack of interest in formulating legislation to protect children were other reasons for child abuse going unpunished.

Children’s Code

The Children’s Code, compiling legislation for children, was drafted by a committee headed by V.R. Krishna Iyer, former judge of Supreme Court in 2000. It is yet to be taken up for discussion. Don Bosco Youth Centre Rector Sundar Raj spoke.


Diocese using insurance to pay $3 million sex-abuse settlement

The Diocese of Scranton has released new information about how it plans to pay a $3 million settlement to a man who was sexually abused by a priest and filed a federal lawsuit claiming church leaders did nothing about it.

The diocese will use money from a self-insurance fund and insurance carriers, according to spokesman Dan Gallagher.

The $3 million settlement came after three days of testimony at a trial earlier this month. The plaintiff, identified as “John Doe” in court filings, claims former priest Albert M. Liberatore Jr. sexually abused him from 1999 to 2002, beginning when the plaintiff was 14.

The suit also named the diocese, Sacred Heart, retired Bishop James C. Timlin and the Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz, the diocesan vicar of priests when the abuse occurred, for allegedly failing to heed warnings about the abuse.

When the settlement was reached, diocesan officials said the $3 million would not come from parish funds. In a statement due to be released today, the diocese says some of the money will come from a reserve fund dedicated to the payment of insurance claims. The diocese has developed the fund over the past 33 years.

The diocese must pay the first $250,000 for any liability claim, but will recover $750,000 from the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, one of its insurance carriers. The diocese believes another $2 million will be recovered from other insurance carriers. If not, the funds will come from the diocesan insurance fund reserves, according to the statement.

The victim, now 22 and living in New York, said the abuse led to his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Mr. Liberatore, now 42, was pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Duryea when the abuse occurred. He pleaded guilty in 2005 in Luzerne County and New York to sexually abusing the victim and was sentenced to 10 years probation and was defrocked.

Contact the writer:

Violence at home ruins young lives

22 November 2007

By By Dana Gloger

THREE to five children in each Jewish classroom on average are exposed to domestic violence at home, a new report claims.

The survey, commissioned by Jewish Women’s Aid (JWA), follows a Metropolitan police report suggesting that similarly large numbers of children had experienced such violence in the general population. The charity wanted to find out whether the statistic also applied to Jewish children, and found that it did.

Its research was based on questionnaires given to children and on

information gathered from those using its services.

Abigail Morris, chief executive of JWA, said: “This new research gives all of us cause for concern.

“Children are, sadly, more exposed to domestic violence than we had previously thought, and Jewish children are no exception.”

This is often a hidden problem, she said, particularly within the Jewish community, which places great emphasis on family and the home.

“This means that many of the women affected feel they are the only ones and will suffer a lot more abuse before they come forward,” Ms Morris said.

“The effect on the children is awful. A common problem is that it affects their self-esteem. Often, they can’t sleep and it begins to affect their schoolwork.”

Seeing domestic violence at home also means that children do not see a positive model of a relationship, she added. Children in these situations see their parents locked in a cycle of victim and perpetrator.

“Many children also start acting like parents, trying to look after and protect their mothers.

“And it’s difficult, because they love their fathers too.”

Some of the children are also physically abused themselves.

Ms Morris added that the number of Jewish women using JWA’s services is “growing exponentially”.

“The Jewish community mirrors the wider population in this problem,” she said.

She suggested that in fact there might be a higher proportion of Jewish children affected by domestic violence than children in wider society, because some members of the Jewish community have more children than the national average.

JWA was established in 1992. It is run by and for Jewish women and their children who have experienced domestic abuse. It runs a refuge in London which houses up to eight women and their children.

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into Israel that wants to contribute to its destruction. Moshe Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit/Jewish Leadership website: Produced by http: (more)

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August 2005 Next week 8000 Jewish settlers will be evicted from the Gush Katif settlement. Israeli journalist Nurit Kedar has spent the past eight months living with them. (more)

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signs of child physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as the after-effects on a child's life. Two websites for the support and healing of (more)

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encouraging video for sexual abuse survivors...abuse survivor encourage heal support kelly clarkson sober angela shelton ophelia onetruemedia

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Her hardships and struggles to become a Survivor of Incest Abuse. Everybody's house wasn'ta home...incest abuse molestation molested rape raped survivor sexual

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raise awareness for child abuse. song: concrete angel by Lora Merriman. please help and join the fight againt child abuse....Child Abuse Childabuse

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WARNING! GRAPHIC VIDEO OF CHILD ABUSE! Eleven year old boy burned with cigarettes by DCF foster parents, beaten unmercifully by other kids in the foster home, (more)

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special video to help support child abuse awareness month. Some intense photos of child abuse so please be warned....child abuse awareness sexual 2007 spanking burns

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Translated words of the rabbi speaking about why in today's world it is impossible to NOT believe the Torah is true. Short but beautiful words from a holy,

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In 2006 followers of the greatest of modern Jewish leaders Rabbi Meir Kahane gathered in New York to commemorate the Rav, and express ways to continue his Holy path

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For more info Jewish education Children apples Rabbi Avigdor Miller creator of the universe miracles (more)

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Rabbi Shmuley's Talk "Secrets of a Sinful Relationship"...Rabbi Shmuley's Talk "Secrets of a Sinful Relationship"

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During an interview with Ted Koppel, Rabbi Steinsaltz shares his experiences talking to children about the infinity of God....god jewish judaism kids koppel steinsaltz interview

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Jews on YT like to mock other people as paedophile. Look who's the paedophile now....islam aisha jihad child afghanistan afgan 911 muhammad pedophile terrorist sex

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Rabbi Meir Kahane takes a question on Religion and State Separation...Rabbi Meir Kahane JDL JTF Israel Zionism

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A short inspirational idea relating to the weekly Parsha, festival or current events....Rabbi Gad Krebs Parsha Kehillat Masada
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A former director of campus life at the American Hebrew Academy is accused of having sex with a student. WXII 12's Bill O'Neil has the story.

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British Mullah Mr. Anjum Chaudri describes the "Killing of Innocent" Non-Muslims civilians in the suicide bombing as "Legitimate". http:// (more)

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main1893879.shtml STOP THE INCITING OF MODERATE MUSLIMS - OR SUFFER THE OUTCOME STOP RADICAL ISLAM TODAY...Terror England muslim arab bomb Hizbullah Israel Lebanon weapons Palestine (more)

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She spent two months researching undercover among radical Muslims in Brussels. Among her shocking findings was the revelation that younger Muslims in particular are increasingly prone to violence, (more)

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I'm Sick and Tired of Muslims attacking Christianity: Glenn Beck -- Downloaded From americasnewstoday.Com -- Rush Limbaugh on Radio, Bill O' (more)
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Channel 4 Dispatches: Muslims and Free Speech. Program featuring a Debate on whether Muslims are a threat to freedom of speech in the West. Debate is follwed (more)

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young terror victims in Israel with a mentor who can give them the care and attention they need....onefamily Fund Terrorism Israel Terrorist Attacks Suicide Bombing Jerusalem

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I made this video three years ago in 2003, when we were fighting against suicide bombings and shootings and lynches. This video shows faces of two years worth (more)

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In a hospital in Tel Aviv, Israeli doctors battle to save the lives of Palestinian patients. But as the victims of suicide bombings rise, some question if (more)

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his latest film, "Suicide Killers," Pierre Rehov examines the psychopathology of suicide bombers, including never before seen footage of a suicide bomber as he prepares (more)

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Memorial tribute to the victims of the Dolphinarium Disco terror attack in Tel Aviv. This horrific attack devastated hundreds of lives in Israel killed 21 young people and wounding (more)

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duty and seek Shahada through suicide terrorism, the ramifications will be cataclysmic. The targets of the future Palestinian terror wave will be Israel, and in all likelihood (more)

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duty and seek Shahada through suicide terrorism, the ramifications will be cataclysmic. The targets of the future Palestinian terror wave will be Israel, and in all likelihood (more)

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Inflicts Heavy Israeli Casualties NBN TV, Lebanon Hezbollah's Capabilities Are Eroding IBA TV, Israel Excerpts from Nassrallah's Speech Abu Dhabi TV, UAE Red Cross Transports Victims by (more)

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Children of Palestinian Suicide Bomber Rim Al-Riyashi Al-Aqsa TV (Palestinian Authority) (March 8th, 2007) HAMAS: http://video (more)
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palestinian child prisoners...palestinian child prisoners israel

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TV Al-Aqsa TV (Palestinian Authority) - 6/29/2007 - 00:04:43 MEMRI...Palestinian Childrens Abuse TV Mouse Hamas (more)

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to the conditions isolating Palestinians within their communities. It is filmed next to the separation barrier that Israel continues to build in the occupied Palestinian territories. Terry Boulatta (more)

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. At the Village of Fandaqoumiah in Jenin Palestine July 2006. The lead singer was Musa al Hafiz....Dabkah palestine palestinian dabki dabke dabka

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Palestinian Media Watch ( September 10, 2004. "The Jew will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and (more)

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This is a video that shows Haj Amin Al Husseini, uncle of the criminal bloodthirsty Yasser Arafat, and his connection to Nazi's. What was the reason that (more)

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#669 - Palestinian Friday Sermon by Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris: Muslims Will Rule America and Britain, Jews Are a Virus Resembling AIDS Palestinian Authority TV - 5/ (more)

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"Palestinians" are hiding bombs inside the Ambulance. I write "Palestinians" in double quotation marks because "Palestine" and "Palestinians" don't (more)

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In the lead up to the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006, terrorist group Hamas announced that one of its candidates would be Um Nidal, whose only claim (more)

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#463 - Palestinian-Kuwaiti Sheik Ahmad Qattan on Allah's Rewards to a Martyr Iqra TV (Saudi Arabia) - 1/3/2005 - 00: (more)

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20060817 Newsnight Pt1 - Brainwashing of Palestinian Children Part 1...BBC Newsnight Brainwashing Palestinian Children Suicide Bombers

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For the first time armed members of Palestinian factional groups are attending training camps run by the Red Cross - learning about International Humanitarian Law and First Aid. Al (more)

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Children in Gaza perform a monstrous "play," dressed as suicide bombers and terrorists, waving knives and guns, in front of a crowd of doting parents

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Palestinian children are the young assassins groomed from birth to hate and murder Jews....palestinian children

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tags: hezbollywood pallywood children islam muslim palestine israel lebanon hamas hezbollah terror terrorism victimhood...hezbollywood pallywood children islam muslim palestine israel lebanon hamas hezbollah terror terrorism victimhood

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Young children convinced of death as a shahid as ideal. Two 11-year-old girls articulate their personal goal to become shahid [martyrs for Allah] (more)

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A clip about a Hamas Terrorist preparing to "quench his thrist for Jewish blood" These are the people that Palestinians chose as their government....mohammed

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Jihad against Israel and the non-Muslim world...esperantista jihad west islam israel

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פרק א
א אַֽשְֽׁרֵי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ בַּֽעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים לֹא עָמָד וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָֽׁב

:ב כִּי אִם־בְּתוֹרַת יְהֹוָה חֶפְצוֹ וּֽבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה יוֹמָם וָלָֽיְלָה

:ג וְֽהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵי מָיִם אֲשֶׁר פִּרְיוֹ | יִתֵּן בְּעִתּוֹ וְעָלֵהוּ לֹֽא יִבּוֹל וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יַֽעֲשֶׂה יַצְלִֽיחַ

:ד לֹא־כֵן הָרְשָׁעִים כִּי אִם־כַּמֹּץ אֲֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶנּוּ רֽוּחַ

:ה עַל־כֵּן | לֹא־יָקֻמוּ רְשָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט וְחַטָּאִים בַּֽעֲדַת צַדִּיקִֽים

:ו כִּֽי־יוֹדֵעַ יְהֹוָה דֶּרֶךְ צַדִּיקִים וְדֶרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים תֹּאבֵֽד

Dovid Hamelech Speaks:

Condemn them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against you.

And those who know your name will put their trust in you; for you, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; seek out his wickedness till you find none left.

Upon the wicked he shall rain coals, fire and brimstone, and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

But I have trusted in your loving kindness; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

They have all gone astray, they have all become corrupted; there is none that does good, no, not one.

Do all the evil doers have no knowledge? Who eat up my people like they eat bread, and call not on the Lord.

Psalms Chapter 15

1. A Psalm of David. Lord, who shall abide in your tent? Who shall dwell in your holy mountain?
2. He who walks uprightly, and does what is right, and speaks the truth in his heart.
3. He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.
4. In whose eyes a vile person is despised; but he honors those who fear the Lord. He who swears to his own hurt, and does not change.
5. He who does not put out his money at interest, nor takes a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.


exposemolesters said...

MenWeb - Men's Voices

Surviving and Living

Male Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse

Welcome! You are not alone.

Survive child sexual abuse? Is that the best we can say, "I'm surviving?" That's Dr. Wayne Kritzberg's point in The Invisible Wound. Survivors will tell you that dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse is a matter of survival - life and death - for a lot of guys. But Dr. Kritzberg points out that the perpetrator has robbed the young boy of any of the joy and beauty in life, beyond mere "surviving."

Can a man lead a healthy, full and creative life after surviving child sexual abuse? Yes he can, but the road is rough. This section of MenWeb is devoted to helping male survivors to find such a life. We offer some articles and other information for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. We've heard a lot about survivors, but so much of it is geared to women. But some experts believe that male children are sexually abused as much as, or almost as much as, female children. And women, as well as men, are perpetrators. Here we present some male-focused and male-positive articles and information, specifically for male survivors. Their needs are often quite different from female survivors. For example, male survivors frequently get involved in anger. The information is from MenWeb, with additional information from other Web sites specifically geared to male survivors. In those cases, we've provided links to those sites, for more information.

The good news is that there's lots of help and support "out there" if you know where to look. We'll try to help you with that.

Doggie (Scott in background)

The Associate WebMaster here is Scott Abraham, a survivor who knows from personal experience the healing power of survivors telling their stories to each other. He has been courageous enough to author several "hot" stories that have appeared in MEN Magazine, in the hopes that "going public" with his story will help other men. His review of books for male survivors, including the book he says saved his life, first appeared on MenWeb, and has been picked up by a large number of other Web sites. Scott is finishing up work on his counseling degree.

To begin with, we present three stories by Scott, written at different points on his own journey, and Scott's now-famous book review. We will add more content as we get it.

Are you a survivor, or do you know one? Do you need help knowing where to turn? Do you have a story you'd like to tell, or a treatment approach you'd like to talk about? E-mail Scott! Talk to us! He will respond privately and, as appropriate (with full regard for permission and anonymity, of course!) add selected questions and answers to a Web page we're designing, "Questions and Answers: Male Survivors of Child Sex Abuse."

exposemolesters said...

The Extent of Child Sexual Abuse

It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused. In more than three quarters of cases the abuse is committed by an adult the child knows and trusts. The vast majority of abusers are men but women are also capable of sexual abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse is any type of sexual assault of a child under 16. Sexual abuse takes many forms: explicit sexual talk; showing pornography; sexual touching; lack of privacy to bath or undress; masturbation and sexual intercourse.

Why Do Children Stay Silent?

Children may not speak out while the abuse is going on for many reasons :-

1.They may have been threatened with further abuse and violence if they tell.

2.They may well be afraid that no-one would believe them.

3.They may feel entirely to blame for the abuse.

4.They may not be able to describe or understand what has happened to them.

5.They may want to protect the family or even the abuser(s), who could be

either male or female.

Children often feel powerless to stop the abuse. You cannot be responsible for consenting to an act you did not understand or which you were forced into.


No matter how long ago you were abused, your feelings about what happened to you are important. You have the right to be listened to, no matter what you want to say. Through speaking about your abuse you may well be able to overcome any difficulties that you experience as an adult.

By Being Sexually Abused as a Child, the Adult Survivor May Lose...


Self confidence, esteem and self respect.

The ability to feel good about self.

Hope, freedom and dignity.

Physical and mental health.

The ability to trust people.

The ability to relax and enjoy life.

Their childhood.

Adult Survivors May Cope with the Past Abuse by...


Alcohol and drug abuse.

Obsessive behaviour and strict routines.

Self harming e.g. cutting, scratching or burning.

Forgetting or minimising the abuse.

Turning to God/Religion.

Breaking ties with, or confronting, the abuser.

Speaking about it and receiving support.

Fighting back e.g. speaking publicly or helping other survivors.

Working to protect children from abuse.

Writing about abuse.

Who Can I Speak To?

A lot of survivors feel the need to speak to someone about the effects it has had on their lives. Your feelings are as individual as you are, no two survivors will feel exactly the same. Talking to someone can help the healing process.

Mental Health Professionals Experienced With Sexual Trauma said...

The Awareness Center, Inc.

has an abundance of help topics for anyone who is a survivor of sexual abuse. If you are a Jewish victim, or even non-Jewish, this would definitely be the right place to seek help in your recovery.

Cleanse country of Arabs said...

Rabbi: Cleanse country of Arabs

Prominent right-wing rabbis gather for 'emergency meeting' ahead of Annapolis conference, state no peace can be achieved if Arabs stay on Israel's land
Kobi Nahshoni

"We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them in the countries where they came from," head of the Yesha Rabbis Council, Rabbi Dov Lior, declared Monday, adding that, "If this means we have to pay them, we will. Without doing so, we will never enjoy peace in our land."

Lior made the statement during an "emergency meeting" of the Association of Rabbis for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel held in Jerusalem ahead of the Annapolis peace conference.

"You have no cause for concern, no peace will come out of all these conferences and agreements," Lior told the participants. The rabbi stated that although he was interested in peace, Israel could never hope to achieve peaceful relations "with evil people of this kind."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union), who also attended the meeting, said that the prime minister aimed to convince the public that Judea and Samaria should be given to the Palestinians. Ariel also called on the attendees not to waste their time on trying to change the minds of MKs and ministers. "This is a struggle of good versus evil," he exclaimed.

'No leader has the right to give away land'

Rabbi Zalman Melamed stated that assisting or participating in the handing over of parts of Eretz Israel to non-Jews was strictly prohibited. "We must declare clearly that we will not do anything that is against our holy Torah. We shall fight all those who attempt to violate the Torah's mitzvot."

At the conclusion of the meeting, the association's secretary, Rabbi Yosef Artziel, read out the decisions agreed upon in the gathering: "No leader, in any generation, has the right to give away Eretz Israel… we call on the Jews abroad, and especially on community leaders and rabbis, to join us in our efforts against this treaty and its implications.

"Together, we will save the people of Israel from the government's terrible plan."

Ariel Sharon said...

Even while I lay in a coma they're blaming me.


Rabbi Wolpe calls for 'declaration of Jewish independence' if land ceded
Gil Hoffman , THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 27, 2007

Right-wing Rabbi Shlmo Wolpe on Tuesday called for a "declaration of Jewish independence" in Judea and Samaria if the government were to cede parts of the territory.

Speaking at a gathering of rabbis and professors at Jerusalem's Renaissance Hotel, Wolpe said that "nothing has been learned from the bloodshed caused by Sharon."

He added that the government was "betraying the people of Israel… because they want to avoid investigations, like Sharon did."

Wolpe also warned that giving up parts of Judea and Samaria would bring about disasters.

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding said...

Last update - 23:24 26/11/2007
Major N.Y. Islamic center honors Orthodox rabbi at annual event
By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent

The Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI), considered one of the largest leading Muslim centers among the U.S. Muslim community, awarded a special honor to Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier on Sunday.

400 Muslim religious leaders and businessman took part in the center's annual dinner Sunday. Those in attendance welcomed Schneier with much applause as the heads of the ICLI bestowed the special award upon the rabbi.

The award was in recognition of Scheier's initiative for a unique multi-cultural symposium involving rabbis and imams held recently in New York. Another recipient of the same award was Imam Omar Namus, of New York, who also took part in the symposium.

Rabbi Marc Schneier is President and Founder of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), which work toward improving relations between minorities in the United States. He serves as the spiritual leader of Manhattan's New York Synagogue and was rated number 37 of the top 50 most influential American rabbis by Newsweek magazine in 2007.

In his acceptance speech, Schneier referred to the imminent Middle East peace conference to be held shortly in Annapolis, Maryland, saying that the "problem with the conference is the absence of a senior religious figure who would represent both the Jewish and Muslim faiths."

"Religion is a powerful factor in the Middle East" Schneier said, and added that without the participation of Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, the peace process will likely fail.

Arutz Sheva said...

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Shas Will Quit If Jerusalem Split
18 Kislev 5768, 28 November 07
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

( The Shas party's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef promised other leading rabbis Monday night that he would instruct the Shas party to quit the coalition if the government decides to re-divide the capital.

A delegation of rabbis met with Rabbi Yosef at his Jerusalem home in an effort to persuade him to order Shas to quit the government immediately. The rabbis said that the Israeli attendance at the Annapolis Summit was sufficient justification for the political move, in light of the Israeli concessions already expected.

In response to their entreaty, Rabbi Yosef told the rabbis, "If there will be a decision to divide Jerusalem, then I will instruct Shas to withdraw from the coalition."

Among the rabbis in attendance at the meeting were the Chief Rabbi of the Old City, Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, Rehovot Chief Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute. Their meeting came one day after Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon said that Rabbi Yosef was "considering" Ramon's proposal, which would cede most of eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority (PA). %ad%

Earlier Monday, Rabbi Yosef met with Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Director General of the organization representing the Jewish community of Hevron, and with Nachman Zoldan, whose son Ido was murdered by PA terrorists one week ago. Ido, a father of two young children, was shot to death in a drive-by shooting on his way to his Shavei Shomron home, 20o miles east of Herzliya. Rabbi Horowitz and Zoldan met with Rabbi Yosef to express their views on the Annapolis Summit, as well as issues surrounding the murder of Ido.

Rabbis of Agudath Yisrael of America Issue Jerusalem Statement
In a resolution adopted at its 85th National Convention on Sunday, in Stamford, Connecticut, Agudath Yisrael of America Israel declared that Israel "should not relinquish parts of Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty, and the American government should not pressure the Israeli government into doing so."

According to the resolution, and "following the direction of Agudath Israel's rabbinic leadership," the American branch of the international haredi-religious organization was "deeply pained and concerned about the prospect of Israel relinquishing parts of Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty." The reasons for its resolution, the Agudath Yisrael statement said, were "relating to considerations of security as well as the singular place Jerusalem has always occupied in Jewish religious and communal life...."

Last month, a leading scholar and acknowledged spiritual leader in the non-Hassidic haredi world, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, joined the struggle against the re-division of Jerusalem.

shmita controversy said...

The shmita controversy isn't over
David Golinkin , THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 26, 2007

For the past few months, a controversy has been raging in Israel: How should shmita (the Sabbatical year) be observed? Most Israelis view this as an esoteric argument between the haredim and the national-religious. They may also think that the problem was solved by the October 23 Supreme Court decision which instructed the Chief Rabbinate to follow its own heter mechira policy (symbolic sale of the Land of Israel to non-Jews). They are wrong.

This argument touches on the very essence of Zionism as Israel turns 60.

ACCORDING to biblical law, the Land of Israel must lie fallow during the sabbatical year (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7). Haredi farmers follow the Hazon Ish, Rabbi Isaiah Karelitz, who prohibits exporting produce from the shmita year, but allows certain leniencies such as hydroponics.

Other farmers harvest the shmita year's produce as "rabbinic court agents" and sell it through an Otzar Bet Din - rabbinic court warehouse. This legal fiction can help the individual farmer, but it will not solve the state's dilemma because produce distributed through an Otzar Bet Din retains the sanctity of shmita. It may not be thrown in the garbage; it may not be eaten by non-Jews; it may not be sold; and it may not be exported abroad.

SOME HAREDI settlements are supported by donations from abroad during the shmita year. As for consumers, most haredim buy their produce during the shmita year from Arabs. If all Israeli Jews followed these methods, Jewish agriculture in Israel would collapse; if Israel followed these methods, Agrexco would go bankrupt and Israel would lose $1 billion in agricultural exports every year.

On the other hand, according to Rabbi Kook's heter mechira method, the land and everything planted on it are sold to a non-Jew for a period of two years (so that the shmita year is covertly included in the sale). It is thus permissible to buy and sell shmita produce, since it belongs to a non-Jew. It is also possible to engage in work that is only rabbinically prohibited such as irrigating, weeding, fertilizing and removing stones.

On the other hand, the five kinds of activities that are prohibited by the Torah - sowing, pruning, reaping, harvesting grapes and plowing - are still prohibited during the shmita year.

HISTORICALLY, the Chief Rabbinate followed the heter mechira. However, this year, due to haredi pressure, the heter mechira was performed as usual, but the Chief Rabbinate gave local rabbinic councils the right to ignore it and demand that supermarkets and restaurants in their towns must buy all their produce from Arabs. Indeed, the local rabbinates of at least nine cities with over 1 million inhabitants immediately declared that this is exactly what they would do. The potential loss to Jewish farmers was estimated at NIS 700 million to NIS 2 billion.

TZOHAR, A group of liberal Orthodox rabbis then threatened to set up rival kashrut supervision and certify all the food establishments who follow the heter mechira. Finally, on October 23, 2007, Israel's High Court of Justice invalidated Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger's decision; if the Rabbinate itself had performed the heter mechira, it could not claim that it is not legitimate! The Court ruled that the Chief Rabbinate must overrule any local rabbi opposed to the heter and appoint in his place a rabbi who will follow the heter mechira.

ALL OF the methods described above are unsatisfactory since they contradict the entire purpose of Zionism.

Regarding the haredi solutions, did we found Israel so that Israeli Jews should be supported by Diaspora Jews or buy their produce from Arabs?

Rabbi Kook's solution is even more surprising, since it originates precisely in the religious Zionist camp. It turns out that the ultra-Orthodox leave the land in Jewish hands, while the Zionists sell the land of Israel to gentiles.

This is faithful to the letter of the law but not to its spirit. In order to observe the sabbatical laws in "the land that I assign to you" (Leviticus 25:2), "all the land, vegetation, plants, fruit trees, and all kinds of trees that we have in our holy Land of Israel" (this is the text of the document used today) is sold to an Arab dignitary for a period of two years. How bizarre.

Most Israeli rabbis assume that the mitzva of shmita in our day is rabbinic, basing themselves on the opinion of Rabbi Judah the Prince in both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds.

The Rishonim (early decisors, ca. 1000-1500 C.E.) explain these Talmudic passages in three ways:

(a) A small minority maintains that shmita in our days is biblical, but very few later authorities accept this approach.

(b) Many Rishonim rule like Rabbi Judah that shmita in Talmudic times was a rabbinic prohibition. However, there is still disagreement regarding shmita after Talmudic times. Many Rishonim ruled that shmita in their day was still rabbinic, according to Rabbi Judah's opinion in the Talmud.

(c) However, many Rishonim maintained that when Rabbi Judah ruled that shmita was rabbinic, he was referring to the Second Temple period and his own time, but today (i.e. in the Middle Ages) shmita is a middat hassidut - an act of piety - and no more.

But if so many Rishonim agree with this opinion, why is it that most modern rabbis ruled that shmita in our day is rabbinic? This is because they did not see most of the Rishonim who belonged to the third school of thought!

Rabbi Kook and his contemporaries only saw this opinion in the writings of Rabbi Zerah'ia Halevi and the Ra'avad. Since the Ra'avad may have contradicted himself in another place, modern rabbis decided that shmita as an "act of piety" is a da'at yahid, the individual opinion of Rabbi Zerahia Halevi. Indeed, Rabbi Kook and Rabbi Joseph Engel used this individual opinion as a sneef (auxiliary reason) in order to support the heter mechira.

TODAY, HOWEVER, we know that Rabbi Zerahia's opinion was never an individual opinion. Rabbi Menahem Kasher has proved that many rabbis in Provence and elsewhere considered shmita in our day an act of piety. In addition to Rabbi Zerahia and the Ra'avad, this opinion is mentioned or supported by R. Yitzhak ben Moshe of Vienna in the name of the Rashbam; R. Yitzhak ben Abba Mari; R. Menahem Hameiri; R. Nissim Gerondi; and the Rashbash in the name of Hukot Hadayanim who quoted Halakhot Gedolot, Rabbi Judah of Barcelona, Ba'al Ha'ittur and Rabbi Judah ben Rabbi Yakar, Nahmanides' teacher.

Indeed, the Me'iri testifies that "many of us, many of the Geonim and rabbis who are with us" agree with him that shmita in our day is only an act of piety. The Rashbash also writes that "many important authorities consider that it does not apply today even rabbinically."

Therefore, the opinions are evenly balanced: a large group of Rishonim ruled that shmita in our day is rabbinic and another large group (including most of the rabbis of Provence) ruled that shmita in our day is an act of piety. Since the farmers of Israel are in a difficult financial situation, and since the heter mechira itself is very problematic as explained above, it is preferable to follow the widespread opinion that shmita in our day is an act of piety and no more.

FINALLY, one should add another sneef that supports the more lenient position. Even though we rule according to Maimonides, there is still considerable doubt as to whether the year 5768 is really a shmita year.

Therefore, we should observe the laws of shmita today as an "act of piety." In other words, it is laudable to observe as much as possible, but farmers who cannot observe it due to financial pressure can sow and do all other necessary activities during the shmita year. If possible, the following laws should be observed: sowing gardens before Rosh Hashana; avoiding biblically forbidden work, such as sowing, pruning, harvesting and plowing; avoiding the planting or tending of ornamental gardens if they are not essential for preventing erosion.

It is also advisable to perform various symbolic and educational acts such as leaving one field with a large sign as the "shmita corner" in which all laws of shmita will be observed and holding public study sessions of the laws of shmita.

In the final analysis, what is the purpose of shmita? "That the poor of thy people may eat" (Exodus 23:2). Today, almost no one fulfills the commandment's purpose as it appears in the Torah. Therefore, it would be most appropriate for all Jewish farmers in Israel to donate a percentage or a fixed amount of the shmita year's profits to poor people. In this way, the original purpose of shmita will be achieved.

The writer is the president of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

exposemolesters said...

Baruch Dayan Emes,

We need more Rabbi leaders like Rabbi Raphael Marcus. May his neshama have an aliya. Hamokom yenachem eschem betoch shar aveilei tzion beyerushalyim!

Toronto rabbi was ‘a member of each family in his shul’
Thursday, 29 November 2007
TORONTO — Almost 2,000 people, many standing or in auxiliary seating, jammed the synagogue for the Nov. 21 funeral service of Rabbi Raphael Marcus, right, spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Torah since 1980.

He died last week at age 57 after a long battle with cancer.

In an emotionally charged, often tearful tribute, his son Rabbi Shmuel Marcus said his father had insisted that there be no eulogies. However, his father had asked him to express his gratitude and love for his family, and to say how privileged he felt to be the rav of such a special shul. This was in line, Rabbi Marcus said, with his father’s philosophy that “a rabbi has the responsibility to be a member of each family in his shul.”
His voice rose as he pleaded with the congregation, suggesting that “when you look at his empty seat on the bimah, take your memories of him as an inspiration.”

Rabbi Raphael Marcus grew up in New York. He attended yeshivot in Israel, including Kerem B’Yavnah and the Mirer Yeshiva. He received smichah from Rabbi Aharon Soloveitchik at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill., and served at several congregations before coming to Toronto in 1980. Rabbi Soloveitchik would become Rabbi Marcus’ father-in-law.

Aside from his rabbinic duties, Rabbi Marcus taught at both Yeshivat Or Chaim and Ulpanat Orot Girls School. He was also active in many communal organizations, including the Vaad Harabonim, where he was a past chair.

Jack Kahn, a longtime congregant and past president, told The CJN that Rabbi Marcus shone in interpersonal relationships. “People brought their problems to him, and he always had a sympathetic ear.”

Kahn said the rabbi’s “love and commitment to the State of Israel was paramount to him. He was proud that all his children studied there, and three made aliyah.”

People loved him, Kahn said, as a teacher, a parent and a rabbi.

In his honour, to enable him to fulfil the mitzvah that everyone should write a sefer Torah during their lifetime, the congregation undertook to have one written. It was dedicated just four weeks before he died.

The respect and affection in which he was held was evident during the funeral. Many shared stories and anecdotes with each other of things he had done, his goodness, how they felt a personal bond with him. Others praised his personal integrity.

Rabbi Yechiel Goldreich, who grew up in the congregation and became its assistant rabbi two years ago, remembers Rabbi Marcus as a “tremendous person.”

He was “a tzaddik and a true Torah scholar with a gift of being able to relate to all people, to be there and say the right word at the moment. He will be missed by all.”

Rabbi Reuven Tradburks of Kehillat Shaarei Torah said Rabbi Marcus was “such a warm person. He welcomed everyone. You felt he was treating you as a friend.”

In addition to being a scholar and a “big Zionist,” Rabbi Marcus was always concerned about helping people who were struggling financially, Rabbi Tradburks added.

Rabbi Tradburks, who recalls that Rabbi Marcus was the first rabbi to call and welcome him when he came to Toronto 13 years ago, said people have told him that congregants feel they have lost a family member.

Rabbi Baruch Taub of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation remembers Rabbi Marcus as an extremely close friend with “a rare blend of scholarship of the highest calibre and yet he was accessible and loved by everyone.” He was the first to speak out forcefully against any injustice in the community, Rabbi Taub added.

Rabbi Yacov Felder of Shomrai Shaboth Chevra Mishnayoth Congregation, who considered Rabbi Marcus a close friend and role model, praised the late rabbi’s ability to share sometimes harsh truths in a way that preserved his friendship with the listener.

“He had a certain style… a very lebedik, vibrant personality. He could be very entertaining, too.” In addition to Torah knowledge, Rabbi Marcus had “a lot of wisdom,” Rabbi Felder added.

Community leader Kurt Rothschild, who was not a congregant, said the late rabbi was “an extraordinary human being, very kindhearted” and “a true shepherd of his congregation” who had “a rare combination of humility and ideological strength.”

Rabbi Marcus was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. A funeral service in Jerusalem, was attended by several hundred people, Kahn said, many of them children of shul members who had made aliyah.

Rabbi Marcus is survived by his wife, Rochel Leah; his children, rabbis Shmuel, Dovid and Mordechai, Pesha Rosner, Tzippi Friedman, Rus Lifshitz, Eliezer (Ezzie), Elimelech (Eli) and Sarah; his mother, Lillian; his brother, Rabbi Jay; his sister Michal Gabbai; and many grandchildren.

Tehran Times said...

Austrian rabbi calls Iran the best model for human rights for children
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN - Rabbi Moishe Arye Friedman of Austria has said Iran is the best model for human rights for children.

Rabbi Friedman, who is the chief rabbi of the Orthodox Anti-Zionist Society of Austria, his wife Lea, and six of their seven children returned to their home in Vienna, Austria on October 15 after almost two months in Iran.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad warmly welcomed them after the Friday Prayers of Quds Day (October 5) and said he would join them in prayers and celebrations in Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) when it is liberated from Zionism and the Zionist regime.

In addition, the Friedmans met some of Iran’s religious leaders.

The family also took part in many religious ceremonies and events at Iran’s Jewish synagogues and schools.

They have said that there is no place in the world where Jews have so much freedom to practice their religion, adding that Iran’s Jews also enjoy all the other advantages of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The also visited the tombs of Mordechai and Esther in Hamedan.

Before coming to Iran, Rabbi Friedman’s children were attacked by Zionist elements in Austria and Britain in retaliation for the fact that the rabbi had attended the Tehran Holocaust Conference in December 2006.

His children required hospitalization after the attacks. They were also expelled from school in Vienna, kidnapped in London, and illegally imprisoned and tortured in Vienna.

The Friedmans say all this was the work of Mossad agents of the Israeli embassies in Vienna and London.

The family expressed gratitude to the Austrian Supreme Court for their efforts to ensure their children could return to school and to prosecute the culprits, but added that the justice minister and other Austrian politicians beholden to Israel and the Zionist World Jewish Congress are hindering implementation of the court orders.

The Friedman family said European countries should implement their laws on the human rights of children in their own lands before dictating to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which they called the best model for human rights for children

Gerer Rebbe said...

This UOJ meshiggeneh thinks he can mess with me? I'm the gerer rebbe for kvetching out loud, what a chutzpah of him accusing me of a cover up, altz shem shomayim i am only trying to avoid a chilul hashem - wouldn't that be a much bigger sin than protecting avrumi lazerowitz? Don't mess with me Vicky and Unorthodox Jew. I swear I will cut off my payos if you continue ratting me out!


At the request of Blogger - Unorthodox Jew

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz is currently sitting in a jail in Jerusalem, Israel awaiting an extradition trail scheduled for November 27, 2007. The Gerer Rebbe has been doing his best to stop the extradition.

Call Sol Werdiger and tell him to convey the following message to the Gerer Rebbe:
1. That as a people we are not going to tolerate any more coverups and whitewashings for Avrohom Mondrowitz; that it is manditory this man must face justice for his alleged sex crimes.

2. That anyone who aids or protects this criminal is morally as culpable as the criminal himself; and that we will be sure to expose anyone guilty of coverup just as we are succeeding in exposing the story of Mondrowitz.

3. You might want to mention Pirkei Avoth, 4:5: "Whoever is mi'chalel Hashem in secret will be chastised publicly."

Contact info for Sol Werdiger:

Agudas Israel Frauds said...

CALL TO ACTION: Help Unsuspecting Families Connected to Agudath Israel of America!

From The Awareness Center:

CALL TO ACTION: Unsuspecting Families Connected to Agudath Israel of America Need Our Help!

Over the last few years Rabbi Avi Shafran (public spokes person for Agudath Israel of America) has had many lengthy telephone conversations and e-mail exchanges with many experts in the sexual violence field, including The Awareness Center. Unfortunately Avi Shafran is more interested in protecting the assets and image of Agudath Israel of America then reality when it comes to protecting innocent adults and children from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.

It's time for everyone to contact Avi Shafran and Agudath Israel of America. Let them know they need to change their perspective. Demand that they hire an organization like The Awareness Center to do intensive training's with them.

Rabbi Avi Shafran, Public Spokes Person of Agudath Israel of America:
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004-1617
Phone: (212) 797-9000

Background Information:

* No Religious Haven From Abuse
New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women are - by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
* Shafran's Letters to the Editor of the New York Jewish Times
* Rabbi Yaakov Blau's Letter responding to Shafran
* Michael J. Salamon's Letter responding to Shafran
* Rabbi Yosef Blau's Letter responding to Shafrain
* Sin and Subtext - By Avi Shafran (WARNING: this blog is owned and run by alleged sex offender - rabbi Yaakov Menken)
* Rabbi Avi Shafran, Agudath Israel of America and Rabbi-on-Child Sexual Abuse - By Failed Messiah

Satmar’s Separate Peace said...

Satmar’s Separate Peace
Appeals court ruling seen giving upstate and downstate factions something to cheer about.

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, and Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, lead different camps in the fractious Satmar world.

by Jonathan Mark
Associate Editor

After years of legal and even physical wrangling by contentious chasidim, the New York Court of Appeals confirmed last week what individual Satmars already knew: it will be individual chasidim — not judges in Albany — who will decide, by voting with their feet, the rebbe to whom they will give allegiance.

The state’s highest court upheld lower court decisions, ruling that the direction that religious institutions choose to take is a religious choice beyond the realm of the state judiciary.

The ruling was cheered by chasidim backing Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, the rebbe with the largest following in Satmar’s Williamsburg center. But chasidim backing his brother, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, saw the ruling as allowing them to maintain their own synagogues and
yeshivas in that Brooklyn neighborhood that not long ago was almost the sole domain of the "Zalis," as the first faction is known.

Reb Aaron remains chief rabbi of the Satmar village, Kiryas Joel, in upstate Monroe.

Rabbi Hertz Frankel, principal of Bais Rochel D’Satmar, told The Jewish Week that the Satmar "street" accepted the court’s ruling without protest or disruption. "It’s quiet, peaceful, everyone taking their usual seats in their own respective shuls, their children take their seats in their own respective schools, and life goes on," he said.

The rabbi added, "It’s been quiet for a while around here. Reb Aaron’s chasidim built their own congregation. They’re running their own community. And Reb Zalman Leib is continuing to run his."

Rabbi Frankel, whose school, one of the oldest Satmar institutions, is within Reb Zalman’s orbit, estimated that in Williamsburg there are 6,000 students in Reb Zalman’s schools and 3,000 in Reb Aaron’s.

One Jewish community professional, unaffiliated with Satmar, estimated that Reb Zalman has a 60 percent-to-80 percent advantage among Williamsburg’s 56,000 Satmars.

Rabbi Frankel, who has often acted as a spokesman for Satmar going back to when it was unified, added that Kiryas Joel, with almost 20,000 Satmars, is now far from monolithic in its support of Reb Aaron.

"Reb Zalman Leib opened schools in Kiryas Joel, and a shul," said Rabbi Frankel. "And Kiryas Joel now has a third faction, called Bnei Yoel," named after Reb Yoel (Joel) Teitelbaum, the original Satmar rebbe for whom the village is named.

The father of the feuding brothers, Reb Moshe Teitelbaum, Reb Yoel’s successor, divided his spiritual kingdom prior to his death in 2006, giving Kiryas Joel to Reb Aaron and the larger but more amorphous Brooklyn territory to the younger brother, Reb Zalman. The feud quickened when Reb Moshe was physically weakened by illness, and though his will specified Reb Zalman as his Williamsburg heir, Reb Moshe did not, or could not, effectively intervene when resentments percolated in the Aroni camp.

After Reb Moshe’s death, Reb Aaron and his followers made a move to acquire Satmar’s Williamsburg institutions, running their own slates for various boards of directors, and going to secular courts to verify or acquire the rest, a power play the court resisted.

The court stated, "The First Amendment forbids civil courts from interfering in or determining religious disputes, because there is substantial danger that the state will become entangled in essentially religious controversies or intervene on behalf of groups espousing particular doctrines or beliefs."

Although several reports depicted the feud as one for control of millions of dollars in assets, almost none of the Satmar communal institutions is liquid and neither brother is seen as gaining financially.

David Pollock, associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, observed that what has happened over time is "a bifurcation of Satmar," not unlike what has happened with nearly a dozen other major chasidic groups that have seen massive population growth.

"When a chasid comes" with a request to the rebbe and he needs an answer, "it’s very difficult for that to happen when there are tens of thousands of chasidim," noted Pollock.

Offering a sociological view of the situation, he added that chasidism is "based on the idea that the rebbe is someone who can intercede on your behalf. You abrogate your decision-making to your rebbe. You need a rebbe with whom you can do that, and it doesn’t work as well through assistants. Therefore there are all these chasidic groups that are splitting into multiple parts," he said, with Satmar being the most public and litigious.

Haredi Soldier said...

'You can serve your country and stay haredi'

Rabbi David Fuchs answers Yoseph Goldsmith, who slammed the Haredi Nahal's soldiers. According to Rabbi Fuchs, the project provides a framework for every conscientious haredi to serve the country and maintain a strictly haredi lifestyle
Rabbi David Fuchs

Yoseph Goldsmith's article in itself does not warrant any replay, as the "facts" presented there are far from true. Yet, I chose to write and present Ynet's readers with the facts and the Haredi Nahal.

This is not the place to discuss the haredi worldview that requires everyone who's willing and able to dedicate their life to the study of the Torah as a part of the multi-generational Jewish effort to preserve the
Personal Viewpoint
Your values are not mine! / Yoseph Goldsmith
Yoseph Goldsmith, a haredi youngster, responds to Major General Elazar Stern's comments regarding the wide-spread phenomenon of draft-dodging among ultra-Orthodox; says that when the IDF follows Torah's laws – ultra-Orthodox will enlist
Full Article
Torah and the Nation of Israel. The reluctance of many haredim to enlist is therefore a function of their fear that military service will damage their ability to serve the nation the Torah's way.

Nevertheless, those who do not wish or do not want to join this idealistic group, are morally obligated to enlist and fulfill their duty like any other Israeli youngster.

In the past, the conscientious ones who did not study in yeshiva, avoided army service – and justly so. The spiritual risk military service in a secular environment (including the presence of female soldiers and the sub-standard kashrut in the IDF bases) posed was too great.

Yet, after the IDF and a group of rabbis launched the " Netzah Yehuda" Brigade in which the highest religious standards are maintained, every observant man who feels morally obligated to enlist, can do so without the slightest fear of social pressure or temptation. The 2,000 haredi soldiers and their families are living proof.

Goldsmith wrote that he knows many youngsters who lost their spiritual way in the army. I say, these young men lost their way long before they enlisted.

Therefore, any haredi who does not study Torah and does not enlist is guilty of Chillul Hashem (Hebrew: "Desecration of the God's Name").

Rabbi David Fuchs has been following the Haredi Nahal project since its establishment eight years ago.

Draft dodging said...

Your values are not mine!

Yoseph Goldsmith, a haredi youngster, responds to Major General Elazar Stern's comments regarding the wide-spread phenomenon of draft-dodging among ultra-Orthodox; says that when the IDF follows Torah's laws – ultra-Orthodox will enlist

Yoseph Goldsmith
Published: 11.25.07, 10:02 / Israel Jewish Scene

Last week, IDF Human Resources Directorate head Major General Elazar Stern joined those who have lashed out against the widespread "draft dodging" among the ultra-Orthodox.

Even though there is nothing new in the arguments, this time around, something did attract my attention, and I quote the Maj.-Gen. Stern: "The existence of the Haredi Nahal regiment refutes the claim that ultra-Orthodox life and the army cannot be combined. They have conditions there that are even better than in
Maj. Gen. Stern: Haredim should serve / Hanan Greenberg
IDF Human Resources Directorate head Elazar Stern addresses wide-spread phenomenon of draft-dodging among ultra-Orthodox, religious Zionist youth

Bnei Brak," Stern said, referring to a heavily Haredi town in central Israel, "they see no women, not even at a kilometer's distance. Now society must play its role and encourage (Haredi youths) to serve in the army."

I was almost convinced. But, there are problems with the magic solution Stern outlined: To the best of my knowledge, the Haredi Nahal was established as a rehabilitative setting for Haredi dropouts. And… success rates are not something to brag about. Stern should talk to the commanders about their painful failure before trying to convince more ultra-Orthodox to join in.

Because Stern is a religious man, we need to speak out loudly and clearly against his claim and stop the naïve from believing his words and thinking that it is possible to combine ultra-Orthodox life and the army. The reality is very different – his values are different than ours! His ideals are not ours! And his goals are not ours! We have the Torah to live by, the Torah that is true, real and eternal. We live our lives by the Torah alone!

For us, enlisting means losing our moral code and values for which we are ready to die.

Stern and his likes, on the other hand, transform their values according to the latest trend. With the tiny Yarmulke on his head, Stern lectures us on what's right and wrong. There are too many parents in the
ultra-Orthodox sector who sit Shiva for sons who died a spiritual death while serving in the army.

Stern also ignored other key issues that are crucial for an observant man: Kashrut, Shabbat, and the militaristic viewpoint that emphasizes physical strength over spiritual fortitude. So, dear Maj.-Gen., hear this:

When the IDF decides to follow the Torah's laws, my friends and I will gladly fulfill our duty – i.e. Bar Kokhba's army – until then, I'd rather die in the tents of Torah!

Maj. Gen. Stern said...

Maj. Gen. Stern: Haredim should serve

IDF Human Resources Directorate head Elazar Stern addresses wide-spread phenomenon of draft-dodging among ultra-Orthodox, religious Zionist youth

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 11.21.07, 18:15 / Israel News

"Even if a person has been granted a legal exemption from serving, it does not mean that he is not dodging the draft, only that the law does not compel him to serve in the IDF," head of the IDF Human Resources Directorate Major General Eleazar Stern, said Wednesday at a conference at Bar-Ilan University.

According to Stern, anyone who intentionally lowers his physical or mental profile or falsely claims to study in a yeshiva belongs in the IDF.

At the conference, the senior officer stated that there are many who purport to be fulltime yeshiva students but who do not actually studyTorah. At the moment, among the population eligible for the draft, about 11% receive exemptions by declaring fulltime torah-study as their profession.

"We have to remember that 25% of first-graders today learn within the ultra-Orthodox education system, and if no one intervenes, we (in the army) will be in a similar a situation in a few years," Stern said.

Falling Motivation
Report: Drop in number of IDF officers due to lack of motivation / Yossi Yehoshua
Army officials say motivation to attend officers' training decreased sharply following Second Lebanon War. 'Members of the current generation are self-serving,' saya senior officer
לכתבה המלאה

According to Stern, the existence of the Haredi Nahal regiment refutes the claim that ultra-Orthodox life and the army cannot be combined. "They have conditions there that are even better than in Bnei Brak," the Major General said, referring to a heavily Haredi town in central Israel.

"They see no women, not even at a kilometer's distance. We created such an environment in the army and now society must play its role and encourage (Haredi youths) to serve in the army. I don’t want the Haredi Nahal to be just a regiment, but an entire brigade."

'Society must motivate youths to serve'

But ultra-Orthodox youths are not the only ones who shirk military service. Stern said that draft-dodging is growing and penetrating different sectors of the population, including even religious Zionist society, some of whose members claim to study Torah fulltime and whose avoidance is the result of the Gaza disengagement.

Stern said that when a leftist does not want to be drafted, the IDF transfers him to a court and puts him on trial, but when someone declares himself to be a Yeshiva student nothing is done, and this must be addressed.

Stern demanded that Israeli society fully appreciate those who serve in the army. He reported that a senior administrator at the Technion told him that most of the medical students there were Arabs. "In the past there was a law that anyone who had done his military service received preferential treatment when applying to an educational institution. Now, because of all this egalitarianism, we have harmed the soldiers and must give them preference in these areas. Israeli society must instill motivation to serve, and treat soldiers appropriately after they are discharged."

Regarding the new benefits for reserve soldiers which were approved this week by the government, Stern called it an expression of principle. "This population which carries the burden on its back is important to society and worthy of these benefits."

Drop in number of IDF officers said...

Report: Drop in number of IDF officers due to lack of motivation

Army officials say motivation to attend officers' training decreased sharply following Second Lebanon War. 'Members of the current generation are self-serving,' saya senior officer

Yossi Yehoshua
Published: 11.11.07, 13:18 / Israel News

The last three years have seen a 27% drop in the number of combat soldiers who attend officers' training, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

According to officials in the IDF's Human Resources Directorate and the GOC Army Headquarters said motivation to attend officers' training decreased sharply in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War.

An official report drafted by the GOC revealed that the most recent combat and maneuvering corps officers' training course began with the lowest number of soldiers ever, and the number of those who graduated was also an all-time low.

'I followed my own dreams and values'

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi recently reprimanded the commander of the Armored Corps' 74th Battalion after learning that not even one of the unit's soldiers attended officers' training in the last year-and-a-half.

"This is primarily a failure of the commanding officers," a senior IDF official said. "A battalion or division commander who cannot supply enough soldiers to the officers' training course has failed in his mission and should be held accountable."

An official in the army's Human Resources Directorate said there were other reasons for the worrying phenomenon besides the recent war against Hizbullah.

"The drop in motivation to attend officers' training correlates with the general drop in motivation to enlist in the IDF, particularly for combat units," he said.

"Members of the current generation are self-serving and feel that they would be suckers to contribute. They see how difficult it is to have a military career: The harsh conditions, the scarce vacation time and the insufficient financial rewards."

An officer who recently graduated from the course had a different take on the matter. "There is a feeling that the public does not hold the officers in the highest regard. Once it was every parent's dream, but mine told me 'it is enough that you served in a combat unit while your friends served in the Kiryah (military compound in the heart of Tel Aviv)'. I followed my own dreams and values, but I guess others broke down."

NYPD clerk said...



November 20, 2007 -- A disgraced ex-cop will get a one-year sentence after pleading guilty yesterday to kinky online sex chats with another cop who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Veteran Transit Bureau cop Michael Farrell was a serial sex predator who routinely trolled such sites as the "I Love NYC Cops" chat room in search of his jail-bait prey, prosecutors said.

By early 2005, he'd allegedly struck up conversations with at least seven targets, prosecutors said. Trouble was, five were cops.

Yesterday, Farrell pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to one count of attempted dissemination of indecent material to a girl he believed was 14.

The Long Island father of one also admitted he arranged to meet the "girl" with the expectation of sex.

Farrell has resigned from the NYPD and separated from his wife, who is also a cop.

emotional abuse said...


a definition of verbal abuse

- You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours;

- They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction;

- They do not listen to you;

- They always put their needs before yours;

- They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating;

- You "walk on eggshells" in an effort not to upset them;

- They ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics in order to remain the centre of attention;

- Instead manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you;

- They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling the people/ service/practice in an attempt to retain exclusive control over your emotions;

- They never take responsibility for hurting others;

- They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives;

- They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment.

what is emotional abuse?

There is no universally accepted definition of emotional abuse. Like other forms of violence in relationships, emotional abuse is based on power and control. The following are widely recognized as forms of emotional abuse:


- refusing to acknowledge a person's presence, value or worth; communicating to a person that she or he is useless or inferior; devaluing her/his thoughts and feelings. Example: repeatedly treating a child differently from siblings in a way that suggests resentment, rejection or dislike for the child.


- insulting, ridiculing, name calling, imitating and infantilizing; behaviour which diminishes the identity, dignity and self-worth of the person. Examples: yelling, swearing, publicly humiliating or labelling a person as stupid; mimicking a person's disability; treating a senior as if she or he cannot make decisions.


- inducing terror or extreme fear in a person; coercing by intimidation; placing or threatening to place a person in an unfit or dangerous environment. Examples: forcing a child to watch violent acts toward other family members or pets; threatening to leave, physically hurt or kill a person, pets or people she / he cares about; threatening to destroy a person's possessions; threatening to have a person deported or put in an institution; stalking.


- physical confinement; restricting normal contact with others; limiting freedom within a person's own environment. Examples: excluding a senior from participating in decisions about her or his own life; locking a child in a closet or room alone; refusing a female partner or senior access to her or his own money and financial affairs; withholding contact with grandchildren; depriving a person of mobility aids or transportation.


- socializing a person into accepting ideas or behaviour which oppose legal standards; using a person for advantage or profit; training a child to serve the interests of the abuser and not of the child. Examples: child sexual abuse; permitting a child to use alcohol or drugs or see pornography; enticing a person into the sex trade.

denying emotional responsiveness

- failing to provide care in a sensitive and responsive manner; being detached and uninvolved; interacting only when necessary; ignoring a person's mental health needs. Examples: ignoring a child's attempt to interact; failing to show affection, caring and / or love for a child; treating a senior who lives in an institution as though she / he is an object or "a job to be done."

- Emotional abuse accompanies other forms of abuse, but also may occur on its own;

- No abuse - neglect, physical, sexual or financial - can occur without psychological consequences. Therefore all abuse contains elements of emotional abuse;

- Emotional abuse follows a pattern; it is repeated and sustained. If left unchecked, abuse does not get better over time. It only gets worse;

- Like other forms of violence in relationships, those who hold the least power and resources in society, for example, women and children, are most often emotionally abused;

- Emotional abuse can severely damage a person's sense of self-worth and perception;

- In children, emotional abuse can impair psychological development, including: intelligence, memory, recognition, perception, attention, imagination and moral development; and

- Emotional abuse can also affect a child's social development and may result in an impaired ability to perceive, feel, understand and express emotions.
how widespread is emotional abuse?

Only a few studies provide insight about the prevalence of emotional abuse in Canada. Emotional abuse is difficult to research because:

- Its effects have only recently been recognized;

- There are no consistent definitions and it is hard to define;

- It is difficult to detect, assess and substantiate; and

- Many cases of emotional abuse go unreported.

A recent study of Ontario investigations into child maltreatment found that, in 1993, 10% of investigations alleged emotional abuse.

In 1993, 39% of women in abusive relationships reported that their children saw them being assaulted.

In 1995, the Canadian Women's Health Test found that of 1000 women 15 years of age or over:

- 36% had experienced emotional abuse while growing up; 43% had experienced some form of abuse as children or teenagers; and

- 39% reported experiencing verbal/emotional abuse in a relationship within the last five years.
Statistics Canada's 1993 Violence Against Women Survey showed that among ever-married or common-law Canadian women aged 18 to 65 years, emotional abuse is widespread. The study found that:

- 35% of all women surveyed reported that their spouse was emotionally abusive.

- 18% of women reported experiencing emotional abuse but not physical abuse in a relationship.

- 77% of women reported emotional abuse in combination with physical abuse. In one Canadian study on abuse in university and college dating relationships, 81% of male respondents reported that they had psychologically abused a female partner.
In 1995, a study of seniors' client records from various agencies across Canada found that psychological abuse was the most prevalent form of abuse. The 1990 National Survey on Abuse of the Elderly in Canada estimated that:

- 4% of seniors residing in private homes reported experiencing abuse and/or neglect;

- Questions about insults, swearing and threats were asked as a measure of chronic verbal aggression. The study showed that 1.4% of seniors experienced these forms of emotional abuse in the year prior to the study; and

- Chronic verbal aggression ranked as the second most prevalent form of mistreatment following material abuse.

facts to consider

Emotional abuse of children can result in serious emotional and/or behavioural problems, including depression, lack of attachment or emotional bond to a parent or guardian, low cognitive ability and educational achievement, and poor social skills.

One study which looked at emotionally abused children in infancy and then again during their preschool years consistently found them to be angry, uncooperative and unattached to their primary caregiver. The children also lacked creativity, persistence and enthusiasm.

Children who experience rejection are more likely than accepted children to exhibit hostility, aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviour, to be extremely dependent, to have negative opinions of themselves and their abilities, to be emotionally unstable or unresponsive, and to have a negative perception of the world around them.

Parental verbal aggression (e.g., yelling, insulting) or symbolic aggression (e.g., slamming a door, giving the silent treatment) toward children can have serious consequences. Children who experience these forms of abuse demonstrate higher rates of physical aggressiveness, delinquency and interpersonal problems than other children. Children whose parents are additionally physically abusive are even more likely to experience such difficulties.

Children who see or hear their mothers being abused are victims of emotional abuse.

Growing up in such an environment is terrifying and severely affects a child's psychological and social development. Male children may learn to model violent behaviour while female children may learn that being abused is a normal part of relationships. This contributes to the intergenerational cycle of violence.

Many women in physically abusive relationships feel that the emotional abuse is more severely debilitating than the physical abuse in the relationship.

Repeated verbal abuse such as blaming, ridiculing, insulting, swearing, yelling and humiliation has long-term negative effects on a woman's self-esteem and contributes to feelings of uselessness, worthlessness and self-blame.

Threatening to kill or physically harm a female partner, her children, other family members or pets establishes dominance and coercive power on the part of the abuser. The female partner feels extreme terror, vulnerability and powerlessness within the relationship. This type of emotional abuse can make an abused woman feel helpless and isolated.

Jealousy, possessiveness and interrogation about whereabouts and activities are controlling behaviours which can severely restrict a female partner's independence and freedom. Social and financial isolation may leave her dependent upon the abuser for social contact money and the necessities of life.

Emotional abuse can have serious physical and psychological consequences for women, including severe depression, anxiety, persistent headaches, back and limb problems, and stomach problems.

Women who are psychologically abused but not physically abused are five times more likely to misuse alcohol than women who have not experienced abuse.

Senior abuse is still a new issue and there is still little research in this field on emotional abuse.

We do know that senior emotional abuse and neglect can be personal or systemic and that it occurs in a variety of relationships and settings, including abuse by:

- a partner;

- adult children or other relatives;

- unrelated, formal or informal caregivers; or

- someone in a position of trust.

Seniors who are emotionally abused may experience feelings of extreme inadequacy, guilt, low self-esteem, symptoms of depression, fear of failure, powerlessness or hopelessness. These signs may be easily confused with loss of mental capability so that a senior may be labelled as "senile" or "incapable" when in fact she or he may be being emotionally abused.

Abusers may often outwardly display anger and resentment toward the senior in the company of others. They may also display a complete lack of respect or concern for the senior by repeatedly interrupting or publicly humiliating her or him. Not taking into account a senior's wishes concerning decisions about her or his own life is an outward sign of abuse.

detecting emotional abuse

Emotional abuse may be difficult to detect. However, personal awareness and understanding of the issue is key to recognizing it. The following indicators may assist in detecting emotional abuse.

possible indicators of emotional abuse

- depression;

- withdrawal;

- low self-esteem;

- severe anxiety;

- fearfulness;

- failure to thrive in infancy;

- aggression;

- emotional instability;

- sleep disturbances;

- physical complaints with no medical basis;

- inappropriate behaviour for age or development;

- overly passive/compliant;

- suicide attempts or discussion;

- extreme dependence;

- underachievement;

- inability to trust;

- stealing;

- other forms of abuse present or suspected;

- feelings of shame and guilt;

- frequent crying;

- self-blame/self-depreciation;

- overly passive/compliant;

- delay or refusal of medical treatment;

- discomfort or nervousness around caregiver or relative;

- substance abuse; and

- avoidance of eye contact.

legal intervention

Legal intervention in cases of child emotional abuse and neglect is governed by provincial and territorial child protection legislation.

All jurisdictions require that alleged or suspected child emotional abuse or neglect be reported to child protection authorities or the police. In some jurisdictions, failure to report child emotional abuse or neglect may result in a fine or imprisonment.

Emotionally abusive behaviour such as repeatedly following the other person or someone known to her or him; repeatedly communicating, directly or indirectly, with the other person or someone known to her or him; harassing the other person with telephone calls; besetting or watching the other person's house or place of work; and / or engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or a member of her or his family is criminal harassment.

These behaviours must cause a person to fear for her or his safety or the safety of someone she or he knows.

Other forms of emotional abuse such as insulting, isolating, infantilizing, humiliating, and ignoring, although serious, are not criminal behaviours and cannot be prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Canada.

what can you do?

If you are being abused, remember:

-You are not alone;

- It is not your fault;

- No one ever deserves to be abused; and

- Help is available.
if you suspect/know someone is being abused

- Listen;

- Believe;

- Support;

- Let the person know about available support services; and

- Report suspected or known child abuse or neglect to a child welfare agency or the police.

if you are a service provider

Work with other organizations to:

- Increase awareness of emotional abuse;

- Address the needs of those who have been or are being emotionally abused; and

- Keep informed of resources and materials relating to intervention and prevention of abuse.



- 24 hour help-line or distress line;

- transition house or shelter;

- social service agency;

- child welfare or family services agency;

- police;

- legal aid service;

- health professional (e.g., nurse, doctor, dentist);

- community health centre;

- public health department;

- community counselling centre;

- home support agency;

- seniors' centre;

- community living association;

- friendship centre;

- religious/spiritual organization.

child sexual abuse prevention kit

Developed by the Caring Communities Project includes "how to" handbooks, tools and activities, 20 case studies of prevention initiatives and resource lists of books, programs and videos. The kit is available in both English and French. Contact: Canadian Institute of Child Health, 384 Bank Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1Y4. Tel: (613) 230-8838; fax: (613) 230-6654; e-mail:

nobody's perfect

A support and educational program for parents of children from birth to age five. This program is available in both English and French. Contact: Nobody's Perfect National Office, 384 Bank Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1Y4. Tel: (613) 237-7667, ext. 225; fax: (613) 237-8515; e-mail:

72% of American suicides are committed by white males; black men prefer homicide. (This suggests white men blame themselves and black men blame others: white neurotics, black psychotics.) Prisons overflow with men, and juvenile detention centers teem with boys; remedial readers are, in 90% of cases, male, as are those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, substance abusers, and the violent. Rates of injury are three times as high for males. The lives of men are eroded by frustration inhibition perversion. A white collar drug addict remarked: My work is so boring that it's really hard to do it if you're not hung-over in some way. My friend tried to not do drugs for a while and he was, like, "This is a nightmare! I have to sleep eight hours a day! I'm tired all the time! I wake up and it takes me three hours to get up, and then I'm tired in the afternoon." Men are dying of loneliness, and noone knows.

exposemolesters said...

Ultra-Orthodox Break From Tradition

Anthony Weiss | Wed. Nov 28, 2007

An ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization spoke out at its annual conference against the division of Jerusalem, marking the first time that the traditionally non-Zionist body has taken a public stance on the peace process.

Agudath Israel of America has traditionally steered clear of matters involving Israeli sovereignty, on the grounds that a true Jewish homeland can be established only by the coming of the messiah. At its national convention last week, however, Agudath Israel passed a resolution stating that Israel should not surrender any part of Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty and that America’s government should not pressure it into doing so.

The conference came a few days before the Annapolis, Md., peace talks. The Monday before the talks, an Agudath Israel official met with high-ranking members of the Bush administration to press the case.

Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president of government and public affairs, acknowledged that it is unusual for Agudath Israel to speak out on matters relating to the peace process. But he explained, “The issue of Jerusalem is one that is sui generis: It stands on its own. It is the heart of Eretz Yisrael.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel, told the Forward that the resolution passed by acclaim with no objections. The unanimity suggests that the issue of Jerusalem may pull groups into the debate over the peace process that have traditionally steered clear of these matters.

The stance also could be an important signal of the political tides in Israel. Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the head of Agudath Israel of America, told the convention that he had consulted with the leading Agudath Israel rabbis in Israel and they had urged him to speak out on the matter. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox political parties — United Torah Judaism and Shas — have traditionally been flexible on territorial matters in exchange for domestic funding, but that may not hold true for Jerusalem.
Wed. Nov 28, 2007

Anonymous said...

Contra Rabbi Slifkin

By:Jonathan Ostroff Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The owner of the bookstore took one look at the book I was purchasing and said, “Rabbi Slifkin has made quite the splash in our city.”

He then asked, “What do you say about the dinosaurs?” – referring to Rabbi Slifkin’s Challenge of Creation (2006), which has a stunning photo of a dinosaur skeleton on the front cover of the book.

“Well,” I said, “my question is, were dinosaurs were created on day five, or day six?”

“You believe they existed?”

“Sure,” I said. “They may have been created with the mammals on day six, or perhaps with birds and fish on day five.” I explained that according to the Malbim, most species of birds and fish reproduce by laying eggs – the characteristic feature of day-five creatures – and dinosaurs lay eggs.

“Oh, you mean the ‘great creatures’ (tanninim hagedolim) of day five are dinosaurs?”

“Well, perhaps. Most commentaries understand that expression to refer to huge sea creatures, but Chazal indicate that it may refer to massive sea and land creatures as in the book of Job.”

I did not mention to my interlocutor some other surprising things about dinosaurs.

How old are dinosaurs? Everybody “knows” the answer to this question. As Rabbi Slifkin writes: “A live Tyrannosaurus Rex might be scary, but 65-million-year-old fossils need not be. The entire discussion concerning the age of the universe need not frighten the religious person. After all, God wrote the book of nature, so whatever it tells us about its origins must surely be His words.”

O.K. The universe can be as old as God wants. But what Rabbi Slifkin does not reveal to his readers is that under the right conditions, an animal the size of a dinosaur can become a fossil in a mere three weeks!

He also does not tell his readers that when Mary Schweitzer, of Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies, was examining a thin section of Tyrannosaurus Rex bone under her light microscope, she noticed a series of peculiar structures. Round and tiny and nucleated, they were threaded through the bone like red blood cells in blood vessels. But blood cells in a dinosaur bone should have disappeared eons ago.

“I got goose bumps,” recalls Schweitzer. “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: ‘The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’”

A “good kashya,” but it drives Schweitzer crazy when creationists suggest that this may be evidence for a recent creation. This is because she believes that geologists have established that the Hell Creek Formation, where the dinosaur bones were found, is 68 million years old, and that therefore so are the bones buried in it.

But the discovery of soft elastic tissue and the appearance of fresh blood cells in dinosaurs is something else altogether, for such unusual preservation relies on “yet undetermined geochemical and environmental factors.”

As for all those dating methods, what about “anomalous” uranium-lead radiometric measurements showing that Jurassic and Triassic formations in the Colorado Plateau are several thousands of years old – rather short of the 60 to 200-million year age required by the evolutionary time scale? You will not see the many little (and not so little) anomalies mentioned, let alone discussed, in any of Rabbi Slifkin’s books.

Rabbi Slifkin and I have been debating such issues for many years. Rabbi Slifkin, who is undoubtedly well intentioned, considers the scientific evidence for naturalistic evolution to be incontrovertible fact. His belief is that Torah must be reconciled to the scientific consensus no matter what, and he has consistently refused to discuss the validity of the scientific evidence.

There is a reason that Rabbi Slifkin’s book, mentioned earlier, has no approbation from any rosh yeshiva or posek. It concerns a central issue that logically precedes any conflict about gaps in the fossil record or dinosaur bones. This issue is not about the duration of time during the six-day creation week, or whether it is permissible to allegorize a verse in the Torah, or Chazal’s knowledge of science. These are interesting topics, but they do not address the central issue in question, which frames a fundamental dispute about diametrically opposing worldviews.

While Rabbi Slifkin’s work does not carry the approbation of noted Torah authorities, it does carry an enthusiastic approbation from Darwinist Michael Ruse, who believes that “we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God.”

Ruse, like Rabbi Slifkin, believes in Darwin’s “blind watchmaker” thesis – the thesis that the marvels of life (the human brain, for example) originate via naturalistic mechanisms such as accidental random mutation and natural selection.

Rabbi Slifkin believes that currently operating natural processes (albeit guided by God) produced vestigial organs having little or no utility and “poorly designed” organs such as the panda’s thumb. When he wrote about the panda’s thumb in 2006, Rabbi Slifkin was unaware of an in-depth study of the matter by Japanese scientists. The scientists described the panda’s thumb as an engineering marvel, calling it an “extraordinary manipulation system.”

The Torah, in contrast to Rabbi Slifkin’s chance naturalistic approach, describes a purposeful meta-natural creation process that is entirely removed from the currently operating laws of nature. It is Rabbi Slifkin’s insistence on evolutionary naturalism that is fundamentally at odds with core principles of Torah, and this is the central issue that Rabbi Slifkin has consistently failed to address in our discussions.

Charles Darwin wrote: “If I were convinced that I required such [miraculous] additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish … I would give nothing for the theory of natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.”

Richard Dawkins writes (in The Blind Watchmaker) that in Darwin’s view the whole point of the theory of evolution by natural selection was that it provided a non-miraculous account of the existence of complex adaptations.

For Darwin, any evolution that required God’s help was not evolution at all. Rabbi Slifkin in essence concedes to the atheists that if anyone could have witnessed the origin of the cosmos and of life itself, he would not have detected any role played by God – thus allowing leading intellectuals to teach our unwitting students that “Darwin made it possible to be a fulfilled atheist” (in the words of Richard Dawkins).

Can the meta-natural account of creation in the Torah be reconciled with Darwin’s blind watchmaker thesis? When one puts it like that, the answer is clearly no. After all, Darwin said we may never appeal to miracles. But the concept of a miraculous meta-natural Creation Week permeates the first few chapters of the Torah and has always been understood to be at the heart of all the fundamental beliefs of Torah, and of our very awareness of the Creator.

Indeed, Rabbi Slifkin freely admits that his Darwinian interpretation flies in the face of every classical Talmudic and Rishonic source discussing the topic.

When we make Kiddush on Shabbos we recite the words of the fourth commandment stating that God rested (vayonach) on the seventh day. Chazal say that this means that creation came to halt on that day. The Rambam, in Moreh Nevuchim, explains this as follows: “On each day of the six day creation week, novel entities were formed outside of the system of nature currently in operation and, on the seventh day (Shabbos), the state of the world became lasting and established just as it is at present.”

The Maharal writes (Be’er Hagolah): “Know that He, Himself, may His name be blessed, in all His Glory (b’chvodo u’veatzmo) caused all of reality to materialize into existence during the six days of creation. He did not cause it through the agency of nature, as opposed to the period which ensues after the six days of creation, in which Hashem, may His name be blessed, governs his creation via the intermediary of nature.”

This is the concept of Creation we have as our mesorah. And this means, as Rav Shlomo Miller shlita explains, that Hashem is not just the Guide (manhig) of the universe but also its Creator (boreh).

The very laws of nature, the imperatives that govern the cosmos, space, time, mass, energy, and life were only able to come into existence via God exercising his role as the Creator over the entire six-day creation period of asarah ma’maros, ten declarations.

Shabbos teaches that the natural processes we see at work today were not the ones responsible for bringing the world and its inhabitants into existence. Our cessation of work on Shabbos testifies to the fact that God meta-naturally created his universe in six days and ceased this process on the seventh day.

As Chazal say, Hashem said to His world “dai” – stop! – at which point the laws of nature became fixed and stable. Those who attempt to explain creation as an ongoing natural process empty our cessation from work on Shabbos of all meaning. They cannot help but stumble in the fundamentals of Torah. They thereby undermine the very essence of Shabbos which is fundamental to our awareness of the Creator (see Rashi to Chulin 5a, as quoted by Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Mevakshei Torah).

It is the post-creation stable order that scientists legitimately study today. Contra Rabbi Slifkin, the pseudo-scientific naturalistic account of origins is at loggerheads with the principle God presented to us in the Torah – the principle of a purposeful meta-natural creation by a transcendent Creator.

There is no way to reconcile or eliminate this conflict in worldview. Nor is it a question for concern because, on this issue, evolutionary naturalists have overstepped the legitimate bounds of science. We refer the reader to for further details.

Jonathan Ostroff is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at York University, Toronto.

exposemolesters said...

Nov 29, 2007 14:54 | Updated Nov 29, 2007 18:50
Child molester faces extradition to US

The State Attorney's Office's International Department petitioned the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday to extradite convicted child molester Avraham Mondrovitch to the US, Israel Radio reported.

In 1984, the New York Supreme Court convicted Mondrovitch in his absence of five counts of sodomy and eight counts of indecent assault of children between the ages of nine and 15 in Brooklyn's haredi community.

Mondrovitch, who allegedly abused the children while impersonating a child psychologist, escaped to Israel when police began investigating the case, and has been living freely in the country ever since.

In the past, it was not possible to extradite Mondrovitch as the crimes he was charged with were not included in extradition agreements between Israel and the US. However, amendments to the agreements made in 2007 allow extradition for any crime which carries a punishment of at least one year's incarceration.

Mondrovitch was arrested by police in cooperation with the Interpol two weeks ago. If extradited, he could face up to 32 years in prison.

exposemolesters said...

The Modesto Bee

Posted on Thu, Nov. 29, 2007
Merced molester guilty on 6 counts

MERCED -- A former Golden Valley High School drama and Spanish teacher was found guilty on six of nine counts of child molestation nearly four years after he was arrested by Merced police on charges of molesting five of his students.

"I've been waiting for three years for this!" cried the father of one of the victims. He asked to remain anonymous in order to keep his son from being identified. "He needed to be stopped. I feel grateful for these kids coming forward. I give them a lot of credit. He shouldn't be in school, especially around kids."

Jesus Colmenero Rivera, 46, will be housed in a wing of the John Latorraca Correctional Facility that is reserved for sex offenders.

The jury found Rivera guilty on one felony count of oral copulation with a person under age 18 and four felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a 14- or 15-year-old child. He also was found guilty of a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child for biting one of the victims on the toe.

Jurors were not able to come to a unanimous decision on the three most serious charges, which involved sexual battery, sexual penetration with force and fear or threat and penetration with a foreign object.

He faces a maximum of six years in prison and a judge could order him to register as a sex offender.

A member of the audience who was seated with a victim's fam-ily said "Yes!" as Merced Supe-rior Court Judge Ronald Hansen ordered Rivera taken into cus-tody.

Defense attorneys Woodrow Nichols and Mario DiSalvo left the courtroom quickly and refused to comment. "I am going to have to think about this," Nichols said.

Prosecutor, families embrace

Prosecutor David Sandhaus remained in the courtroom for several minutes after the verdicts were read, exchanging hugs with teary-eyed members of the victims' families. Sandhaus thanked the jury, which was composed of seven men and five women. A male juror was dismissed last week.

"Obviously, at some level they felt the pain that the victims had gone through and decided to stick it out over every obstacle and reach a just verdict," Sandhaus said, adding, "We're extremely happy with that."

Sandhaus said the Merced County district attorney's office will evaluate whether to pursue the three charges against Rivera on which the jury wasn't able to decide.

"The main concern is we have to contact the victims to see how they feel," Sandhaus said.

Rivera worked at Golden Valley High until January 2004, when a student reported abuse to school administrators and police. Four more students stepped forward later with additional allegations. The victims were 14 to 17 years old at the time the crimes occurred, from 2001 to 2004.

Members of Rivera's family and his partner, David Corser, appeared distraught but declined comment.

Bryant Owens, a close friend of Rivera's, said the guilty verdicts will not stop those who believe in his innocence from continuing to fight for his acquittal. Owens said he disagreed with the jury's conviction of Rivera when he had an alibi for when the crimes occurred.

"He admitted to biting a kid's toe, but that was not a sexual act," Owens said. "The district attorney did not give any proof that those acts took place except for the testimony of the kids. There was no corroborating evidence."

Rivera is scheduled to return to court Dec. 24 for sentencing. A hearing on whether the district attorney's office will pursue the three charges the jury couldn't decide will be held Tuesday.

YMCA Sex Abuse said...

Ex-Guidance Teacher Charged In YMCA Sex Abuse
Posted on Thursday, 29 of November , 2007 at 6:15 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS—A retired BOCES guidance counselor who allegedly trapped a 15-year-old boy in a shower stall at the Saratoga YMCA and then molested the boy has been charged with felony sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Thomas A. Filion, 67, of Elizabeth Lane, Saratoga Springs, a member of the Y, was arrested Wednesday after the victim identified him from footage taken from security cameras at the Y. The actual incident was not caught on tape as there are no surveillance cameras in the locker room and shower areas.

Police said the incident allegedly happened on Nov. 9 when Filion allegedly entered the shower stall of the teen and asked to borrow some soap. The victim allowed Filion to use the soap dispenser and Filion reportedly left only to return a short time later and allegedly placed his hand on the boy’s penis, blocking him from leaving the stall.

Filion’s YMCA membership has been terminated. He was arraigned in Saratoga Springs City Court, pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $2,500 bail. His next court appearance is Jan. 10. 11-29-07

Avrohm Mondrowitz said...

Three years for raping children? Sounds like a good deal to me. Where do I sign up for that?

Last Updated: 3:01 pm | Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sex offender plea-bargains
Three-year term leaves victims, family upset, but understanding

Paul Iles' 15-year-old niece, his latest sexual abuse victim, told him Wednesday that his attempt to ruin her life failed.

She spoke to him in court while surrounded by family and friends, including Mandie Brock and David Streine, whom Iles sexually abused two decades ago.

Siblings support girl they don't know

"I trusted you with my life and you just tried to completely destroy me, which did not work," she said, fighting through tears. "I've grown from this. One evil man is not going to take my life away."

Iles, 51, was sentenced in Boone County Circuit Court by Judge Anthony Frohlich to three years in prison on one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a crime that happened in 2003 when his victim was 10 years old. Iles originally also faced a persistent felony offender charge, but that was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

Iles was in prison from 1990 through 2002 for molesting Brock, now 27, and Streine, now 28, who were the children of his girlfriend in the 1980s.

His niece is his third known victim. Another Iles relative has accused him of sexually abusing her for more than 10 years when she was a child in the 1970s and 1980s. Those claims are under investigation in Erlanger and Elsmere.

Iles made headlines nearly three years ago when he moved into Erlanger's Deer Chase subdivision. Residents there, many with children, were outraged that a registered sex offender would move into a neighborhood with so many kids.

In a three-hour interview at his home in April 2005, Iles told The Enquirer that he was no longer a threat to children, was compliant as a registered sex offender and successfully completed a sex-offender treatment program in prison.

But Iles evidently had molested his niece between the time he was released from prison and that interview.

And, according to evidence provided to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office by Kentucky State Police, Iles admitted to abusing that niece on several other occasions in Grant and Pendleton counties the past four years - as recently as February of this year.

That abuse, according to the victim, included several instances of Iles touching and rubbing her, and attempting to pull her pants down.

The plea deal was reached between defense attorney Steve Florian and Assistant Boone Commonwealth's Attorney Kurt Kruthoffer.

Kruthoffer said he struck the deal because of the uncertainty of what a jury might conclude and the chance that Iles could be set free. He was also concerned about the well-being of the victim, who would have had to testify.

"In a case like this, the victim is always your first priority," Kruthoffer said. "You want to punish him, but not put her through more than she's already been through."

Brock, Streine and the victim's mother (whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter's identity), said they understood the reasons for the deal, but still weren't happy with it.

"Justice wasn't served today," Brock said. "I'm glad he was convicted, but I feel as a repeat offender it should have been taken more seriously."

The victim's mother also addressed Iles in court, chastising him for taking away her daughter's innocence.

Other than closing his eyes for about five seconds, Iles showed no emotion as mother and daughter spoke.

"He showed no tears, no reaction, no remorse," the mother said. "Nothing at all."

To add to the family's frustration, Iles only has a little more than two years of his three-year sentence to serve because he's been in jail since his arrest in March. He could get out sooner for good behavior, and he's already eligible for parole because of the time he's served since March.

Though Kruthoffer said it's unlikely Iles will be paroled, it is possible he could be freed as soon as he gets to the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange.

"They've got to do something to change the law," Brock said.

Despite what she considered to be a light sentence, the victim was glad she told Iles how she felt.

"I was scared, but I'm not his victim any more," she said.

exposemolesters said...


Sins of the Fathers - USA

Rabbi's/Yeshiva's - Priests/Churches -

Bonded forever by decades of Clergy Abuse. Bonded by their relentless pursuit of sexual abuse cover ups.

'I planned to murder Mondrowitz' said...

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 22:23 01/12/2007
'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'
By Aviva Lori

"I wanted to murder him. Or to kidnap him and beat him to within an inch of his life and then dump him somewhere. Or to drag him to the American embassy and then send him back to the United States." The speaker is T., who says he is one of the victims of Avrohom Mondrowitz, the alleged pedophile from Brooklyn who styles himself a rabbi and psychologist, and whose misdeeds were described recently in these pages ("In the basement, behind a closed door," Haaretz Magazine, November 16). T. says that last year he paid someone who came to Israel to come up with an operative plan to assault Mondrowitz. "I sent someone to Israel. An American guy who came on one of the educational programs for American Jews, someone who is not afraid of anything. He did not work alone. He has connections with a few guys in Israel, who were going to do the actual deed."

Then why didn't it happen?

T.: "Mondrowitz was very careful and never went into the street alone. He knows that someone will finish him off one day. Someone who will decide that he doesn't care if he spends the next 50 years in jail. The person I sent on the mission is still in Israel. He sat for four months, preparing a plan - how and where. We found out everything about him, where he lives and how he behaves, but it is very hard to get close to him without anyone seeing, so after four months the guy said he was giving it up."

Would you really send someone to assassinate him?

"If it could be done without being caught, I would definitely do it. I don't want to, but all I know is this: If the law didn't manage to bring him to justice after so many years, the feeling is that no one cares. He isn't just some crook who robbed a store. He destroyed people's lives. I am still going to therapy twice a month. I have problems. I don't trust anyone, don't believe anyone, I am a very suspicious person. I talk to my children about it every week, and it's very hard to tell children not to be friendly with people. In our synagogue there was someone who went over to children and hugged them. Most people thought he was just being sociable, but I went over to him in the middle of the synagogue and gave him a real beating. I said to everyone, 'I am not going to wait around until he does it to one of my kids.'"

T., now 38 and living in New York, was almost 13 when he first met Mondrowitz. Since then he has been haunted by nightmares. "My life today does not exactly follow some 'golden way,'" he says in the Hebrew he learned during his stay in Israel. "I have no doubt that it started there, in that disastrous meeting with Mondrowitz. For some reason, I never told anyone the whole truth."

T.'s parents, Holocaust survivors, settled in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section. After his bar mitzvah he was to enter the Bais Yisroel yeshiva run by the Gur (Gerer) Hasidic sect in Borough Park, Brooklyn. To prepare him for yeshiva life, his parents sent him to a summer camp run by the Gur Hasidim in the Catskills, where he met Mondrowitz for the first time. "He would show up in his car, an Oldsmobile that was as heavy as a Merkava tank. That summer he started to buy me things. He asked me what I liked. I still have a set of books he bought me. He would take me to a pizzeria. I asked him if that was all right, if I was allowed to leave the camp, and he said, 'Yes, of course, I will get you permission.'"

T. doesn't recall Mondrowitz trying to touch him at camp. But he still remembers vividly what he later saw in the yeshiva. To mark the anniversary of the death of the Admor of Gur (the sect's founder), the students made a torch from wax candles, which they cooked in a large pot in the yeshiva's basement kitchen.

"I went down to the dining room, where the kitchen was," T. relates. "It was a bit dark and no one was there, but suddenly I heard noises. I looked around and then I saw them. A boy from the yeshiva, my age or maybe a year older, was leaning on a table. Mondrowitz was on top of him and both of them had their pants down. I was flabbergasted. It was like a nightmare.

"I ran upstairs, into the classroom, and told the teacher what I saw. Straightaway he went out of the classroom with me, and in the corridor he saw the boy and Mondrowitz coming up the stairs. So he saw that I wasn't talking nonsense." (Years later, T. says, "I found out that the boy never did well in life, that he was mentally ill.") The teacher then took T. to the principal and told him what happened. "I remember the principal shouted at me in Yiddish that I was a boy with a filthy mind. We went back to the classroom as though nothing had happened. At around 4 o'clock, Mondrowitz came and said he wanted to take me to his office, that he had to talk to me. He was an authority figure and I couldn't object. I went to his car, and he stopped at a store on 16th Avenue, took me into the store with him and said that the tzitzit [ritual undergarment worn by Orthodox Jewish males] I was wearing was not Hasidic enough and that I needed a more expensive one, made of wool. My father was poor and bought me a simple tzitzit. Mondrowitz then bought me a Coke and for the first time took me to his home, where he started to explain to me that every person needs a different form of therapy and that some children need to have a good feeling. As he was talking, he stuck one hand into my pants and the other into his pants. If I remember well, his wife was home. I went into shock. He asked me if I felt good. I said no, but he kept on and then he said I was too young, that one day I would find out what was really good for me."

The next day, T. told his teacher what had happened at Mondrowitz's home. The teacher promised to deal with it. "The following day, my father got a letter from the yeshiva saying that I was unsuitable and they should look for a different institution for me."

Before the age of 14, T. was sent to a Gur yeshiva in Israel, but was soon expelled, without any explanation. Maybe because he told his friends what he had seen in Brooklyn: "I discovered that there were six kids in the yeshiva whom Mondrowitz had treated."

After that T. stayed with his sister and with another relative, trying to get accepted to other yeshivas, but to no avail.

T. became a street urchin. He slept in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, sold pictures that he drew, and lived a hand-to-mouth existence. "The Jerusalem bus station was my home. Sometimes I went into a synagogue to sleep. At the age of 21 I was married. I worked for a solar-heating company, rented a place in Ramat Gan and forsook religion.? After 10 years in Israel, T. was divorced. He returned to the United States, found religion again - "I don't believe in religious people, I believe in God" - remarried and raised a new family.

Road to extradition

Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, a Gur Hasid, was indicted in the United States on charges of sexual abuse, including sodomy, against hundreds of children, mainly Haredim (ultra-Orthodox), in his neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, in the early 1980s. The investigation began in 1984, following an anonymous phone call to Patricia Kehoe, a detective in the Brooklyn police sex crimes unit, about Mondrowitz's behavior. But by the time an arrest warrant was issued, Mondrowitz had disappeared. He and his family settled in Jerusalem. He was indicted in 1985, and Israel was asked to extradite him. This was not possible, because at the time the extradition agreement between the two countries did not define sodomy as a felony that mandated extradition. Mondrowitz lived comfortably in his Jerusalem home in the colorful Nahlaot neighborhood, teaching (until he was fired this year), praying three times a day in a local synagogue and, in his leisure time, apparently collecting and watching pedophilic movies and selling fake academic degrees from various universities to all comers.

Last May, local police raided Mondrowitz's home and found four pedophilic films. Two months ago, he was detained and questioned, but released under restrictive conditions. In September, the United States renewed its extradition request after the agreement with Israel was amended at the beginning of this year, so that sodomy is now an extraditable offense. But nothing happened. The police said they were in the midst of an investigation; the Justice Ministry refused to divulge information about its intentions. Mondrowitz continued with his regular routine.
Two weeks ago, on Friday, the day after the article's publication (on Thursday, in the Hebrew version of the Haaretz Magazine), Mondrowitz was arrested for the purpose of extradition. Three days later, he was brought before the vice president of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, Judge Shimon Fineberg, who extended his remand by a week and wrote that the findings of the investigation "create a reasonable suspicion that [Mondrowitz] is still an active or potential pedophile. The fact that he does not have a police record of sexual abuse in Israel does not render the danger void. It is well known that with offenses such as these, particularly in the Haredi sector, to which the respondent belongs, the victims and their families often do not file complaints with the police owing to their desire to try to solve the problems without involving the police, in order to avert shame in the family. By this I do not find that the respondent committed offenses in Israel, but neither do I find the opposite."

The news of Mondrowitz's arrest was widely reported - more than 70 items appeared all over the world: in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Pravda, The New York Daily News, the news agencies and, of course, in the Jewish press. The reports prompted more people who said they were Mondrowitz's victims to come forward.

One of them is B., the mother of M., an apparent Mondrowitz victim, who committed suicide last year. B. had long agonized over whether to go public. The latest round of reports gave her the impetus she needed. "Before this I didn't know that he had molested so many pure, innocent children," she says.

An Orthodox Jew, B. believes that God took her son in order to alleviate his unbearable pain, which, she says, was inflicted on him after a year of intensive "treatment" by Mondrowitz. Of B.'s three sons, she says two were victimized by Mondrowitz. They were sent to him for therapy when she and her husband were going through a divorce. M. was then nine and a half; G., his brother, was 11.

G., now 38, also takes part in the conversation. He says he was lucky: "He didn't really manage to hurt me, because I ran away. This was in 1981. My parents had just been divorced, and my mother sent me and my younger brother to him for professional help. I remember him as a very impressive person. He smoked a pipe and had a convertible sports car, which attracted a lot of attention. He was cool, you know. The first time I came to him he sat me on his knees and started to kiss me on the lips and fondle me in all kinds of places. I jumped up in a fright and escaped. He told me that if I told anyone, he would hurt me."

In what way?

G.: "I don't know, but he had a terrible look in his eyes and I was really scared."

Did you understand that what he did was wrong?

"I knew that I had a teacher in school who did [bad] things to me, so I knew it was wrong."

G. did not show up for the next session with Mondrowitz. He walked around the building for an hour, but did not go in. Two weeks later, he informed his mother that he would not go again. "We had a big fight. She wanted to know why. I only told her that I didn't like him. She was deeply involved in the divorce and didn?t press the issue."

His younger brother, M., continued to see Mondrowitz. It was not until 10 years later that he disclosed that the man had abused and raped him.
In 1988, during a visit to Jerusalem, G. and his brother saw Mondrowitz at the Western Wall. "I ran to him and started to hit him," G. recalls. "My brother restrained me and separated us. I shouted that this man is an animal who has to be arrested, but in the meantime he ran off."
G. has the names of eight additional people who say they were victims, who contacted him after the article appeared. They decided to urge the U.S. authorities to pressure Israel to extradite Mondrowitz.

"[My brother] M. married but wasn't able to have sexual relations with his wife," G. says. "He got divorced and became a homosexual."

Because of what Mondrowitz did?
"Obviously. Two weeks before his death, he told my father: 'I am not sure that even if Mondrowitz is brought to trial it will ease my suffering and reduce the pain.' We knew that something was not right with him - he did not behave normally. He became sentimental in his relations with people.

He had a problem with religion: He didn't understand how someone could teach religion and do things like that. He couldn't abide the hypocrisy. He used drugs and sank into even more pain. The drugs helped him cope. One day last year he took pills and didn't wake up again. He died in his sleep."

M. was 35 at the time of his death. His mother cannot forgive herself for having sent him to Mondrowitz.

"He was so popular, everyone recommended him," B. relates. "I heard him on his radio program and was impressed by the advice he gave. I was sure that I was helping my children. You don't expect a rabbi to do things like that. Now it turns out he was not a rabbi at all, that everything he told about himself was untrue. That man persuaded me to leave my children alone with him. That way, he said, he could help them more. But one day M. broke down and told me everything. I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. I hugged him and we both sat down and cried and cried without end. I told him, 'Don't ever dare look at that man again, ever. I will see to it that he pays for what he did.' But by the time I figured out what to do, he had already escaped to Israel."

Did you feel that something was amiss with M.?

B.: "I am sure that if I had felt that, I would have done something, but [Mondrowitz] hypnotized him. Afterward I found out that he would convince the children that each of them was unique and special, and that he loved them more than anything in the world, even more than their parents did. He would fill their head with all kinds of crazy things that influence children of that age. He would buy them things and seduce them."

B. says she does not understand why the other rabbis kept silent and did nothing. "It is very hard for me to understand why they protected him. Now I understand that there were too many rabbis who did the same thing. It destroyed the children; even those who remained alive are not really living. It is hard for me to believe that he didn't do it to children in Israel, too, because it's a sickness. Why didn't the police arrest him long ago? Never in my life have I had such a strong urge to kill someone as with this man. The only way to deal with him is by cutting off you know what, and do it very slowly. Let it hurt him, let him suffer like the gentle and pure children whose lives he destroyed. That is the pain I want him to feel."

exposemolesters said...

These Netuei Karta freaks totally miss the point. Since when has the word "Zionism" become an ugly word? I don't see the Zionists killing and targeting innocent civilians?

"Rabbi" Weiss, there is no excuse for killing innocent people period. I don't care what the rational or reason is. By defending bloodthirsty Jew killers, you become an accomplice to their evil and despicable acts of inhumanity. You're a pathetic animal!

ex-chosid said...

Satmar Rabbi in grand 25th Yourzeit of Rabbi Kutler in Lakewood 5767

Rabbi Meir Kahane zt'l said...

Rabbi Meir Kahane zt'l at Brandeis University Part 2 of 3

exposemolesters said...

The man of guts and steel; Rabbi Meir Kahane Zt'l. A Jew in every sense of the word.

Rabbi Meir Kahane at Brandeis University Part 1 of 3 said...

Rabbi Meir Kahane at Brandeis University Part 3 of 3 said...

Netuei Karta Dreks said...

Kahane was right all along. Glad he's not here to refute us!

exposemolesters said...

Avi Shafran: You're such a Jerk. Child molestation doesn't concern you in the least. Yap yap yap yippidy yap Putz!

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

The nature of miracles

It is a strange and disorienting panorama that Rabbi E. E. Dessler, the celebrated Jewish thinker (1892-1953) asks us to ponder: a world where the dead routinely rise from their graves but no grain or vegetation has ever grown.

The thought experiment continues with the sudden appearance of a man who procures a seed, something never seen before in this bizarre universe, and plants it in the ground. The inhabitants regard the act as no different from burying a stone, and are flabbergasted when, several days later, a sprout pierces the soil where the seed had been consigned, and eventually develops into a full-fledged plant, bearing - most astonishing of all - seeds of its own!

Notes Rabbi Dessler, there is no inherent difference between nature and what we call the miraculous. We simply use the former word "nature" for the miracles to which we are accustomed, and the latter one for those we have not before experienced. All there is, in the end, is God's will.

It is a thought poetically rendered by Emerson, who wrote: "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore..."

A thought, in fact, that subtly informed famed physicist Paul Davies' recent op-ed in The New York Times, where he wrote that "the very notion of physical law is a theological one." And it is a thought, too, that, according to Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the revered Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem on Manhattan's Lower East Side, has pertinence to Hanukka.

The supernatural nature of nature lies at the heart of the answer he suggests for one of the most famous questions in the canon of Jewish religious law, posed in the 1500s by the author of the authoritative Code of Jewish Law, the Shulchan Aruch, Rabbi Yosef Karo: Why, if oil sufficient for one day was discovered in Jerusalem's Holy Temple when the Maccabees reclaimed it from Seleucid control, is Hanukka eight days long?

True, that is how long the candles burned, allowing the priests to prepare new, uncontaminated oil. But was not one of those eight days simply the day for which the found oil sufficed, and thus not itself a miracle-day worthy of commemoration? Suggests Rabbi Feinstein: Seven of Hanukka's days commemorate the miracle that, in the time of the Maccabees, the candelabrum's flames burned without oil. The eighth commemorates the miracle of the fact that oil burns at all.

THE SUGGESTION pithily echoes an account in the Talmud (Ta'anit, 25a), in which the daughter of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa realized shortly before Shabbat that she had accidentally poured vinegar instead of oil into the Sabbath lamps, and began to panic. Rabbi Hanina, a man who vividly perceived God's hand in all and thus particularly merited what most people would call miracles, reassured her. "The One Who commanded oil to burn," he said, "can command vinegar [as well] to burn."

There is, in fact, one day of Hanukka's eight that is set apart from the others, designated with a special appellation. The final day of the holiday - this year beginning with the candle-lighting on the night of Tuesday, December 11 and continuing through the next day - is known as "Zot Hanukka," after the Torah passage beginning "Zot hanukkat hamizbe'ach" ("This is the dedication of the altar") read in the synagogue that day.

The Jewish mystical sources consider that day to be the final reverberation of the Days of Awe marked many weeks earlier. Although Rosh Hashana was the year's day of judgment and Yom Kippur was the culmination of the days of repentance, later "time-stones" of the period of God's judgment of our actions are cited as well. One is Hoshana Rabba, the last day of Succot. And the final one, according to the sources, is "Zot Hanukka."

It would indeed seem to be a fitting day for thinking hard about the "supernature" in nature, the miraculous in the seemingly mundane. For what is what we call a miracle if not a more-clear-than-usual manifestation of God? And what are the Days of Awe if not a time when He is "close" to us, when God-consciousness is at front and center? And so, perhaps the final day of Hanukka presents us with a singular opportunity to ponder how, just as the ubiquity and predictability of nature can mislead us, allowing us to forget that all is, in truth, God's will, so too can the weeks elapsed since the late summer Days of Awe lull us into a state of unmindfulness regarding the import of our actions.

If so, the final night of Hanukka might be a particularly apt time to gaze at the eight flames leaking enlightenment into the world and, as we prepare to head into the dismal darkness of what some might consider a "God-forsaken winter," know that, still and all, as always, "His glory fills the universe."

The writer is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.

Anonymous said...

Molester wants law license reinstated
Article Last Updated: 12/03/2007

A former Stamford lawyer, convicted of molesting three young boys in the 1990s, is trying to get back his law license.

Jonathan Rapoport, during a hearing Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court, asked members of the state's Standing Committee for Admission to allow him to be readmitted to the bar so he can go back to practicing family law.

The five-member committee, with lawyers Edward Czepiga, Auden Grogins, Cindy Robinson, Robert Lotty and Carolyn Linsey, will make a recommendation to a three-Superior Court judge panel after at least two more hearings.

Rapoport, 54, of Stamford, pleaded guilty in 2001 to three counts of risk of injury to a minor and was sentenced in Superior Court to 30 years, suspended after he served three years in prison and followed by 35 years probation. He also had to register as a sex offender.

He had been accused of repeatedly molesting three boys, from 4 to 6 years old, between 1992 and 1998. A psychologist who examined Rapoport in prison before sentencing stated in a report the former lawyer fantasizes about having sex with young children and admitted to sexually assaulting other children.

Rapoport served his entire three-year prison term and is currently on probation. His release from prison sparked protests in the North Stamford neighborhood, where he planned to live. Residents circulated a petition seeking to force him out of the community.

Although Rapoport's law license was suspended after he pleaded guilty to the crimes, the
sentencing judge left open the option that he could reapply to the bar after five years, said David Atkins, the lawyer representing Rapoport.

During the hearing, Rapoport's probation officer, Gregory Sperling, testified that he considers Rapoport a low risk to commit future offenses and had encouraged him to reapply for his law license.

"I would have no reservations about recommending to the committee that he be allowed to resume practicing law," Sperling said. "I've had to place a lot of trust in him and he's earned that trust."

Conditions of his probation include no contact with children under 18 years old and weekly therapy sessions.

Under cross-examination by Patricia King, a lawyer representing the Judicial Branch's disciplinary counsel, Sperling conceded that at his sentencing hearing Rapoport was considered a moderate risk to commit future offenses. "But the time he has spent in treatment has brought down that risk," he said.

Linsey pointed out that in family law lawyers often have confidential relationships with the parents of young children in crisis. Sperling said if necessary he would interview Rapoport's future clients.

Sperling said since his release from prison Rapoport has been working as an executive at a Norwalk paper company. The owner of the company, he said, is aware of Rapoport's criminal past and any future employer would have to be made aware of his history.

The hearing was continued to Jan. 14 when Rapoport's therapist is scheduled to testify.

Avrohm Mondrowitz said...

This guy should know you can run but you cannot hide!

Dec 3, 2007

Police Arrest Molester On The Run In Panama
Carey Codd
MIAMI (CBS4) ― After years on the run Robert Sarduy is back in a Florida prison; police say his sexual crimes against children date back to the early 90's.

"He abducted my daughter. He violated my daughter," said Ken, a South Florida Police.

We are not divulging Ken's last name to protect his daughter's identity. 16 years ago Sarduy molested the officer's 4-year-old girl, after showing her a badge and telling her he was a cop.

Reports show Sarduy was convicted and went to prison, but in 2004, while on probation, Sarduy showed up at West Palm Beach Elementary School. He told a staff member he was looking at the school for his son and then ran off.

From there Sarduy's trail went cold for years., until September when the feds traced him to Panama. His arrest and deportation made news there.

"The man needs to be brought to task for what he's done and the traumas that he's put families through and especially little innocent 4-year-old girls," said Ken.

Sarduy's past shows allegations of taking advantage of little girls by pretending to be a cop.

Back in 1990 there was a hotel along 17th Street in Ft. Lauderdale. According to a police report, Sarduy approached an 8-year-old girl, showed her a badge, and told her he needed to check her for drugs. Police say Sarduy took the girl to a hotel room and molested her. The girl was on vacation with her parents.

Ken is pleased Sarduy no longer walks free, but wants him locked up for good.

"Put him in prison for the rest of his life. That's where he belongs. There is no rehab. There is no counseling. There is no help. He belongs in prison."

This father hopes to say those words to a Broward County judge when Sarduy goes to court for violating his probation.

exposemolesters said...

Hospital Sued Over Sex Abuse Claims
HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 4, 2007(CBS/AP) A man who claims he was one of Dr. George Reardon's many child sexual abuse victims sued St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center on Monday, saying the hospital failed to protect him from the doctor.

The plaintiff, listed in the lawsuit as John Doe No. 1, claims the hospital knew, or should have known, that Reardon "had a propensity to sexually batter minors" but failed to do anything to stop the abuse.

The filing in Hartford Superior Court came nearly a week after West Hartford police announced that a huge collection of child pornography was found in a hidden storage space in Reardon's former home earlier this year. The cache included 50,000 35mm slides and more than 100 8mm movie reels.

The new West Hartford homeowners knocked down a wall as part of a remodeling project when they found thousands of slides and films that depicted naked children, reports CBS News affiliate WFSB-TV.

Police believe Reardon, who practiced at St. Francis for more than 30 years before his death in 1998, may have victimized hundreds of children beginning in the 1950s. Authorities have launched a public campaign to find victims, and they say nearly 80 have come forward so far.

The new negligence lawsuit is the first against the hospital in Reardon's case, said Paul Edwards, the plaintiff's lawyer. He said he expects to file similar complaints from others against the hospital in the coming days and weeks.

Reardon's estate has been sued by other victims, and complaints of sexual abuse led to hearings before the Connecticut Medical Examining Board in the 1990s.

Hospital officials said Monday that they were reviewing the lawsuit and investigating its allegations. They have until next month to file a response in court.

"At first blush we don't believe the hospital is culpable for any inappropriate activities of Dr. Reardon as they may have been alleged in the complaint," said Barry Feldman, senior vice president and general counsel for St. Francis.

Edwards said last week's announcement of the child porn stash brought back horrible memories for many of Reardon's patients, including his client, who says he was abused in the mid- to late 1970s when he was 12 to 14 years old.

"There's obviously a lot of pain and a lot of embarrassment," Edwards said. "This is something that he as well as many of the other people have tried to deal with by forgetting about it.

"There's obviously now a lot of anger, a lot of desire to get answers to the questions about why this was permitted to take place in the hospital for so long without any apparent oversight," Edwards said.

Edwards said his client, who is now in his 40s and still lives in the Hartford area, went to Reardon not because of a medical condition, but to take part in a medical study of children. He said many other children saw Reardon under that pretense as well.

Edwards believes there never was a study, that it was just a ploy to get patients to expose themselves to Reardon.

The lawsuit alleges Reardon repeatedly abused Edwards' client at his office at St. Francis after hours and on weekends. It says Reardon put a mask over his head, photographed him naked, forced him to masturbate and made him remain naked for long periods so Reardon "could obtain sexual gratification."

"As a result of Reardon's reckless sexual battery, the plaintiff has suffered bodily intrusion and severe emotional injuries, some or all of which may be permanent," the lawsuit says.

Edwards said his client is seeking a substantial amount of money in damages, but the exact figure has not yet been determined.

Feldman, of St. Francis, said the hospital has set aside a toll-free number, 877-288-5774, for anyone who believes they were a victim of Reardon, and is working on counseling and support programs.

The hospital also is pursuing possible mediation or arbitration processes to deal with any similar complaints, in an effort to avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings, Feldman said.

"We sympathize with and our hearts go out to the victims, and again we were as shocked and dismayed at the recent discoveries as everyone else was," Feldman said.

Reardon began working at St. Francis in 1963. The state suspended his medical license in 1993 while investigating sexual abuse allegations.

The Connecticut Medical Examining Board later in 1993 reinstated Reardon's license, but with the condition that he not treat patients younger than 18. Reardon retired in December 1993.

State prosecutors said they never filed criminal charges because the crimes were too old to prosecute under the statute of limitations.

In the mid-1990s, St. Francis officials cast doubt on the alleged victims' credibility and insisted there was no evidence to substantiate the accusations.

The hospital released a statement that reads: "Our sympathies go out to any families who may have been victims of any inappropriate activity by Dr. George Reardon. At the time, Saint Francis fully cooperated with all federal and state authorities involved in this matter. Immediately following the state's suspension of Dr. Reardon's license in July, 1993, Saint Francis suspended his privileges to practice at our Hospital."

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!