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August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
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The Conundrum of Dealing with Sexual Abuse

There has been much reluctance by rabbinic groups such as Agudah to be more forceful in their approach to abusers. They find the allegations hard to believe.
Sexual Abuse

Abusers are often charismatic people who come off as sincere to their victims. And once they have built their reputations they are beyond reproach in their community. All who have come in contact with them will swear by their innocence. Except of course the victims. Who are seen as liars with agendas.

I think this explains why there has been such reluctance by rabbinic groups such as Agudah to be more forceful in their approach to abusers. They find it hard to believe. And if you combine that with the presumption of innocence about the accused, they are not about to let an accusation go forward without their examining it first. They suspect that an innocent and good man was wrongly accused and they want to protect him. It is a no-brainer for them. And no doubt that bias influences their decisions about whether to go forward with the police. It is simple human nature to see people with good reputations as being wrongly accused.

And that’s why this problem is so difficult to solve.

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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

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2 Responses to “The Conundrum of Dealing with Sexual Abuse”

  1. In summary, your argument against Rabbi Elon is based on 1. your anonymous charedi friend's opinion 2. an overzealous follower/student's threat to Rav Lichtenstein shlita and 3. some very poor conjecture.
    If you can, consider for a minute just the possiblity that he is innocent and then look at the facts thus far. 1. An establishment created to protect victims takes the law into their own hands and punishes a Rabbi for acts that they deem to be dangerous by sending him up north to another community. 2. The establishment, unhappy with the results, reports the alleged accusations 3. After obstaining from commenting on the matter for as long as he could the Rabbi denies the allegations 4. Complaints come in 5. 2 are deemed acceptable by the court and 5. one of the two, decides he is not testifying and of course the prosecution reports it as "he was pressured". Have we ever heard a prosecution lose a testifying witness and not make that claim or a similar one? Are we not preying on the simple notion that readers are more inclined to read and believe news that indicts a person rather than be labeled as less interesting news? All I know and read in these articles are the facts, and in this article they are hard to find.

  2. In summary, your argument against Rabbi Elon is based on 1. your anonymous charedi friend's opinion 2. an overzealous follower/student's threat to Rav Lichtenstein shlita and 3. some very poor conjecture.
    If you can, consider for a minute just the possiblity that he is innocent and then look at the facts thus far. 1. An establishment created to protect victims takes the law into their own hands and punishes a Rabbi for acts that they deem to be dangerous by sending him up north to another community. 2. The establishment, unhappy with the results, reports the alleged accusations 3. After obstaining from commenting on the matter for as long as he could the Rabbi denies the allegations 4. Complaints come in 5. 2 are deemed acceptable by the court and 5. one of the two, decides he is not testifying and of course the prosecution reports it as "he was pressured". Have we ever heard a prosecution lose a testifying witness and not make that claim or a similar one? Are we not preying on the simple notion that readers are more inclined to read and believe news that indicts a person rather than be labeled as less interesting news? All I know and read in these articles are the facts, and in this article they are hard to find.

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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