web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/06/09



Dear Rachel,

It is a relief to finally be coming to terms with the fact that abuse of children exists, sad to say, even in out midst. As revolting as the subject may be (and it should be to every decent human being), hiding from this unfortunate reality or pretending it does not exist is far worse.

What is disconcerting, however, is that there seems to be more attention given to guarding our young boys over our girls who are equally vulnerable. Just a couple of months ago, a supposedly handicapped man in a heavily populated Brooklyn neighborhood solicited the help of a young girl whom he then reportedly molested.

Adults as well as children can be victims of abuse, but parents have the obligation to do everything in their power to protect their innocent ones from predators who walk among them.

I recall your addressing this subject before. Please, Rachel, remind the many readers of your important column of how crucial it is for parents to communicate with their children.

Thank you for your service to our communities.

A grateful fan

Dear Grateful,

One would certainly hope that the subject of child abuse being out in the open, discussed (and debated) in private circles and in the public forum, would be enough to prompt parents into ever more vigilant care of their children. And yes, it seems that we have gone from obscurity to over-exposure – while missing some vital specifics along the way.

Regarding that Brooklyn incident where it was reported that a male individual “with a walker” had lured a teenaged girl into his home by asking for her help, this story quickly and quietly disappeared from the media radar screen when it was learned that the so-called perpetrator (a formerly upstanding decent family man and prominent member of the Jewish community) had suffered a stroke a while ago and had been left somewhat physically disabled as well as mentally challenged.

Following this episode, the man’s alarmed family members took immediate steps to ensure that he would no longer unwittingly create an embarrassing scene for himself or cause panic and trauma to a hapless victim.

A most worrisome element of this situation, however, seems to have been left unaddressed: Who has given our girls the okay to come to the aid of a male, and, moreover, to enter into a private dwelling alone with him? While it is highly commendable that our youngsters are schooled in the middah of chesed (kindness), guidelines clearly need to be drawn.

When a young girl encounters a situation where a male seems to be in need of assistance, she should never attempt to help him on her own. No matter how authentic or pathetic the man and his predicament may appear to be, the girl should under no circumstance volunteer to help. She can and should, if possible, alert other (adult) passersby to the male’s plight, but she herself should keep walking.

As far as our young boys are concerned, the horrendous acts of abuse that have come to light in recent years leave many of us dumbfounded. But here again, there are elements of this sort of exploitation that are being ignored.

Take the case of a young married man who has had difficulty managing his role of husband and father, who is known for his penchant of peppering his speech with vulgarities and who has struggled with various addictions over the years. Little known is the fact that as a young boy he was physically abused – not by the stereotypical older, “respected” male, but by his own peers!

His complaints to adults (whom he had looked up to and depended on to help him out of his wretchedness) apparently had fallen on deaf ears. The lessons to be weaned from this ongoing tragedy: (1) Parents should never dismiss their children’s ranting and complaining, regardless of how whacky or illogical they may sound; (2) Warning our children to be wary of strangers or anyone who may want to touch them inappropriately is not enough – they must also be cautioned to never allow even their own friends or other little boys to “invade their privacy!!”

Furthermore, we must also warn our own against behaving in a loathsome manner toward any other child. While yesterday’s bullies would pick on the weak and meek by taunting and teasing, today’s intimidation can take on a much more sinister form of injury that can leave devastating lifetime scars.

Finally, at the risk of coming across as defending the most hated offender – the child molester, I dare suggest that we pause for an instant to consider that “he” too was once someone’s little boy. And the likelihood that he was “taken advantage of” by another is statistically strong.

As an adult, the abuser – by virtue of his intelligence and maturity – should be held culpable for his actions. But what of the young victim who learns to become a victimizer early on, too early to even associate the term of “abuse” with the acts visited upon him by a “trusting” adult? (Often, the immature and slow-minded become easy prey for the abuser who assesses them as least likely to offer resistance.) Absent counsel, guidance or support of any kind, the young “sufferer” (convinced to remain silent) grows up to replicate the deed that was done to him on others.

Outraged citizens advocate locking up the child abuser and throwing away the key. How would that help and what will that do to the young victim/abuser? If he were your child, would the outcry be the same?

Only our awareness will halt the vicious cycle. And that is why it is imperative that parents not only guard their children from becoming victimized, but that they educate them appropriately to the pitfalls of chas v’shalom becoming victim or victimizer.

Hashem yishmor!!

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

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.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/06/09”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of terrorist tunnels that were found near Israeli communities near the Gaza border, identified and mapped. July 27, 2014. These were destroyed by the IDF. Residents fear there are more that have yet to be uncovered.
Gaza Belt Communities Fear Lack of Security, IDF Pullout
Latest Sections Stories

What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?


So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.


In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.


She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

You’re probably wondering why the greatest advocate of fast and easy preps in the kitchen is talking about layer cakes, right?

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-138/2009/02/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: