The following piece was posted today on Yossi Abramowitz’s blog. There’s what to be said about it, but I still feel hesitant to comment on any of this awfulness. I’ll leave it to you.
Renewing Bayit Chadash
Jacob Ner David, my friend, asked me to serve on the Board of Directors of a wonderful non-profit that is transforming the spiritual landscape of Israel by making Judaism lively and accessible in untraditional ways to secular Israelis. Their festivals attract tens of thousands and teachings reach even more.
I’ve been a symbolic member of the Board of Bayit Chadash and an annual contributor, happy to lend my name and networks. I share their pain and sorrow that a personal crisis spilled over to affect real people and the institution as a whole.
The greater the person, the greater the Yetzer, the energy that the evil inclination can dominate. There is a fine line, Wiesel teaches, between the prophet and the madman and what happens when the prophet needs help? The spiritual leader of Bayit Chadad is one of the great teachers of Torah in our age; we must say that because it is true. He is a genius and a soul. But there are multiple truths. Below appears an excerpt from an email from Bayit Chadash co-founder Jacob Ner- David.
I am so sorry to be the bearer of such news, I am still in shock, as is Avraham, but we cannot afford just now time for personal reflection — we need to tend to those who have been wronged under our “watch,” and to salvage as much as possible of the work of the past 6 years — so much of it a positive and enriching experience for literally tens of thousands of Israelis. I speak in the name of myself and Avraham, as well as the staff and key activists of Bayit Chadash here in Israel, when I say that what has been created is an incredible, dynamic, and transforming movement in Jewish life here in the Land of Israel.
Last night we had a meeting with the students of the core programming of Bayit Chadash — dozens and dozens of people, who came together for several hours — and almost to a soul, all demanded that the work we all started continue. Perhaps under a different name, with great humility for the pain suffered by so many, but not to let it all be sacrificed.
(Our friend–Yossi’s words) is sick, and we pray that he receives the treatment he so desperately needs — but he did play a fundamental role in creating a wonderful community here in Israel. I saw it with my own eyes last night, and received the inspiration I needed not to “give up.” I call upon you, as partners in having helped create the reality of Bayit Chadash, to remain committed to the vision of transforming and re-newing Jewish life in Israel for the sake of a Jewish future here and around the world…