web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


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

One of the reasons that the sex abuse issue is so difficult to overcome is that abusers are often great people in every other way. I know that is a contradiction in terms. You can’t be a sex abuser and a great person. But bear with me.

The case of Rabbi Motti Elon is one such case, currently on trial for sexually harassing two 17 year old students when he was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKotel in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Elon is a Religious Zionist Rabbi who was respected even beyond his own religious Zionist community. I recall the reaction of one young Charedi Rav in Israel who practically worshiped the ground he walked on. When he first heard about the accusations, he was incredulous. This was a man who mentored him. A man he confided in. A wise and gentle man who truly cared about his students. A man you could turn to in times of crisis. The idea that such a man could be accused of such a heinous crime was simply unthinkable… impossible!

This was not only the view of this Charedi individual; it was the view of just about everyone who came in contact with him. With the exception of course of the two people who have accused him of sexual molestation.

Although Rabbi Elon still maintained his innocence (which he still does), the young Charedi Rav believed it, and felt betrayed.It has been 2 years since this story broke. The evidence of sexual harassment was so strong that he was removed from his position at the Yeshiva and from having any contact with young people. Takana, the organization that investigated this case, determined the veracity of the accusations, and made the decision to remove him from his position consisted of some of the biggest rabbinic names in Israel – including Rav Aharon Lichtenstein.

Here is what Rav Lichtenstein said at the time:

In an emotional lecture to his students, often breaking into tears, R’ Aharon Lichtenstein announced that he has received death threats by a student of R’ Motti Elon in retaliation for his participating in the Takana forum which labeled R’ Motti as a “dangerous person.” For his courage in making this condemnation, Rav Lichtenstein was threatened with violence!

Which brings me to the current article in the Times of Israel. It appears that one of the two students who were sexually harassed is not going to testify. According to the subheadline of this article, he was pressured not to do it. Which means that prosecutors will have to drop half their charges.

I suspect that’s probably what happened. If Rav Lichtenstein can be threatened with violence, it should be no surprise that a victim can be threatened into not testifying in the same way.

I suspect that the reason Rabbi Elon gets this kind of support from his ‘fans’ is the same reason that someone like Weberman gets support from his fans; and Charedi magazines like Ami. They know these people by their reputations. Reputations they earned by actaully doing good deeds and being good people in every other way. They work hard at building their name. They do a lot kindnesses for many people. I’m sure that’s true for both Weberman and Elon.

But their abnormal desires are kept hidden from their public. They may even try and fight those desires. But as Woody Alan once said about his adopted daughter that he later married, “The heart wants what it wants.”

When your sex drive is normal the heart can be satisfied in socially acceptable ways. But when those desires are abnormal one must do so clandestinely. The libido is a very strong force that is very hard to overcome. Certainly on a constant basis. Eventually such an individual will find a way to satisfy those abnormal urges.

They might actually believe that they are doing nothing more than expressing love to their victims – so self deluded are they. They will merely say that society does not really understand. This is what they tell their victims while they sexually abuse them. They tell their victims not to tell anyone of the great “love” they are showing to them because people will not understand. Sometimes I think that these people actually believe that. At least at first.

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.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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.
Current Top Story
Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked radical Islamist Al-Nusra rebel group in Syria.
Sources: Al Qaeda Bombed Hezbollah and Framed Israel
Latest Blogs Stories
empirestatebuildinginnewyorkgeneralview4361.jpeg

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

A Soldier's Mother

My final reaction remains – who builds a mountain of ashes, who turns it into a “tourist” site?

to bibi or not to bibi

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

HaAchim Gat playing Beit Shemesh

They called it “religious coercion” but it was really “secular coercion” and secular intolerance.

One exciting element of traveling is that it was my first time ever doing so as a dual-citizen!

Attackers of this innocent religious solider had been brainwashed that Israel is evil & illegitimate

How can you take care of the one you love and look after your finances at the same time?

Celebrating 67 years of democratic independence, surviving wars&threats; so much to be thankful for!

He was a Torah giant, uniquely exemplifying the Hashkafa of Torah U’Mada (Torah & worldly knowledge)

All Israel walks beside them, holding them in our hearts, listening, our hearts breaking with theirs

I’ve felt that if only we had established these communities sooner, then the victims would not have been killed

Is inflation always bad for the economy, and why is deflation not always an ideal situation?

It is the character of the individual that counts, not his sexual preferences.

Bibi gives a great speech, especially when talking to foreigners, but on policy, he’s very weak.

One of us had the chutzpah to ask him to join the ball game. He said okay and he played aggressively.

Watch this Doug Goldstein video to learn how easy it’s to open a US brokerage account from overseas.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
empirestatebuildinginnewyorkgeneralview4361.jpeg

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

Remains of the back window of the car driven in Mea Shearim by an officer of a Hareidi IDF unit.

Attackers of this innocent religious solider had been brainwashed that Israel is evil & illegitimate

He was a Torah giant, uniquely exemplifying the Hashkafa of Torah U’Mada (Torah & worldly knowledge)

It is the character of the individual that counts, not his sexual preferences.

“I am 100% convinced that she is not in any way anti-Semitic. She is in fact a philo-Semite”

Chumros-YES! But when it comes to the Chilul HaShem described in the article they couldn’t care less

Why are employers reluctant to hire Charedim? Legitimate concerns or plain old fashioned prejudice?

Just like the shoppers on Black Friday those attending Rav Wosner’s funeral were oblivious to others

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/the-conundrum-of-dealing-with-sexual-abuse/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: