Justice, Religion

What do the GOP and Hareidim have in common?

  • Is it a shared interest in tax credits for parents of charter school students, among other tax evasion schemes for the abhorrently wealthy? Yeah, but nah, that’s not what I’m on about!
  • Is it a fanatical devotion to the state of Israel? Yes, but no, that’s not it either!
  • Is it a common goal of making the world “safe from Islamic terrorism”? You’d like to think so, but that ain’t it!
  • Is it a cultural tendency towards the repression of women? Certainly, but once again, not what I had in mind.
  • Is it utter contempt for homosexuals? Yes, but still not it.
  • Is it religious fundamentalism in general? Again yes, but nope, that’s not the one!

Give up?
The latest common trait between America’s Republican leadership and the hareidi world is the protection of sexual predators!
CBS reports,

Republican lawmakers and aides left male interns vulnerable to Rep. Mark Foley’s improper sexual advances even though the first concerns surfaced more than a decade ago, the ethics committee said Friday in its report into an election-year scandal that convulsed the House of Representatives.
The Republicans lost control of the House in last month’s elections in which several strategists said the virtual sex scandal played a part.
The committee said one witness testified he warned the head of the board overseeing the program for interns, known as pages, Rep. John Shimkus, a year ago that Foley was a “ticking time bomb” who had been confronted repeatedly.
House Republican leader Dennis Hastert likely was told about inappropriate e-mails written by Foley last spring, even though he has said he doesn’t recall the conversations, investigators concluded.

Likewise, Agudath Israel, the largest ultra-Orthodox institution in the US, held a conference the week before last, during which Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon of Lakewood gave a speech declaring Jewish bloggers like Un-Orthodox Jew — who outed Rabbi Joel Kolko for sexually assaulting children repeatedly over the course of 30 years — “a plague” who are “attacking” the hareidi leadership with baseless slander because of their hatred of God and Torah.
Of course, we all know what happens when you keep sweeping things under the rug. Eventually they pile so high that you trip over the lump in the carpet. As today’s NY Post reports,

A Brooklyn yeshiva covered up a rabbi’s long history of child molestation and threatened parents and children who tried to end the abuse, it was charged yesterday.
Officials of Yeshiva Mesivta Torah Temimah knew of Rabbi Joel Kolko’s attacks on young boys but ignored them because he was cleared by a rabbinical court, said lawyer Jeffrey Herman, who represents some of the alleged victims.
Details of Kolko’s lurid past rocked the close-knit Jewish community yesterday as the rabbi was arraigned on new sex abuse charges yesterday.
They involved a 6-year-old boy – and a 31-year-old man, who says he was abused as a boy and again when he went back to visit the school last year.
The yeshiva denied a coverup.

The Agudah has done all that is within its power to protect men like Kolko, including opposing legislation that made it mandatory for rabbis to report allegations of sexual abuse.
The cat’s outta the bag now, thank God. But will it lead to progress?
A rough transcript of Salomon’s speech follows.


áøåê äî÷åí áøåê äåà, ùðúï úåøä ìòîå éùøàì, áøåê äåà. ëðâã àøáòä áðéí ãáøä úåøä: àçã çëí, àçã øùò, àçã úí åàçã ùàéðå éåãò ìùàåì
Who does not know this passage? Who is not familiar? That introduction to äâãä ùì ôñç where we are taught by çæ”ì firstly that we have different types of children and every child is an individual and needs to be taught, needs to be educated, needs to be advised according to his personality. [Unclear] of an introduction áøåê äî÷åí áøåê äåà.ùðúï úåøä ìòîå éùøàì, áøåê äåà – the Torah, is not only the Torah but this is the tools with which to educate our children, with which to ensure that each of them should develop, and to take into account – and this is the great lesson of the Torah – the weaknesses of each child.
To borrow a phrase, I am not sweeping under the carpet. øùò îä äåà àåîø? îä äòáãä äæàú ìëí? ìëí – åìà ìå. The øùò – he comes in a deriding way, he is not really inquiring, he is not really interested in a î÷åí’s way – äòáãä äæàú ìëí , ìëí åìà ìå – I am not part of this at all. àîøúí ìå åìà ìå áòáåø æä òùä ä’ ìé – these mitzvos that ä’ éúáøê commanded us – [unclear] and it was because of these mitzvos that we were we taken out of îöøéí, it was done for me. Your mocker, your scoffer, you who exclude yourself and stand from the outside and criticize – you would not been part of this because you are not part of this – you excluded yourself.
The question is asked that when the ôñå÷ which describes the question of the øùò – îä äòáãä äæàú ìëí in the Torah has a different answer to it – that’s not where the possuk áòáåø æä is written in the Torah. After the question of îä äòáãä äæàú ìëí – the Torah says åàîøúí æáç ôñç äåà ìä – it’s a ÷øáï ôñç that we are bringing to celebrate the great miracle of [unclear] ä’ àú áðé éùøàì. Why does the áòì äâãä change the answer? [Unclear] the îôøùéí say – because the Torah is saying one thing and the áòì äâãä is saying another. The áòì äâãä understands that the possuk áòáåø æä òùä ä’ ìé is what one has to say to the øùò. Someone says that to the øùò – its not a answer.
What you have to do is strengthen yourself – you heard that deriding, mocking question – îä äòáãä äæàú ìëí – åàîøúí– it does not say àîø ìå – åàîøúí – say to yourself – be îàøå your self – âáìè it should make any impression on me çñ åùìí – it’s a îøãé÷é îöåä of åàîøúí æáç ôñç äåà ìä – don’t allow yourself in any way to be impressed by those words îä äòáãä äæàú ìëí. But to the øùò you say áòáåø æä òùä ä’ ìéi – tell him [unclear] mitzvos [unclear] – and tell him he has no çì÷ in them – ä÷éí àú ùðéå.
And [unclear] when the øùò sees a combination [unclear] of how shocked your were, how afraid your were that he should not make an impression on one hand; and how afraid you were [unclear] on the other hand, [unclear] and he will do úùåáä. Because the ôñå÷ says [unclear] vyishtahavu – Rashi says that Klal Yisroel bowed down when they heard – when they heard [unclear] children – shoel bincho mmecho – have a seudos [unclear], have a seudos habonim. They heard that they will have children that are going to ask these questions – yes! Because Boruch HaMokom, Boruch Hu, because the ribbone shel olam in his Torah and in Torah Shel Bal Pe which he gave over to our chochomam describes to us a way and an approach how to deal with a problem – and the purpose is for them to do tshuva. It might take [unclear]. If we ask correctly, the Torah is giving us the answer.
There is another question which is asked on the Hagadah – Tam Ma hu Omar – the simple one – Tam Ma Hu Omar – Ma Zos – and what do we answer? Exactly the same answer we gave to the Rosho bavur ze … mitzriam? Why do we give the same answer to the tam as we give to the Rosho? Rabbi [Unclear] rosh yeshiva, saied a moreidiki zach – he said the Tam who is asking the question Ma Zos – we have to fortify him, we have to give him an answer, that if you will be confronted once with this scoffer who is going to say to you ma avoida .. lochem – I have to give the answer to you now that you can answer that if the Rasha comes along and says “Ma Avodah … lochem. We have to strengthen our children – we have to give them the power to have confidence in themselves, in the emunah of their parents, in the path that we want to lead them, and we have to give them the ammunition with which to fight back when they are attacked.
We have not come here this evening to criticize, to rebuke, to others, to those who would dare to say ma avodah hazos lochem – we have come here this evening to strengethen ourselves, zevach pesach lhashem. We have come here this evening to make sure that the insidious poison that is seeping in, into our home towns, in into our own homes – so has v’sholem would not do any damage, we have to come to immunize ourselves and our children against a plague. For that we are grateful. We are grateful, we are grateful for Agudath Yisroel for providing a platform. We are grateful to the gedolie yisroel who encouraged them, to make our own soul searching, so we should be able to strengthen our defenses. And the main thing is – not to be [unclear], the main thing is not to be afraid, the main thing is to just as we have no issue with them directly, our [unclear] echod. So we also note, on the one hand it could be harmful – it’s only harmful if we don’t resist – it’s only harmful if we were [unclear] at least around our Shabbos tables or whenever if we have a chance for the family to get together. [unclear] not in any way, just strengthen ourselves, the simcha shel mitzvah of a yid – the ahavas hatorah, the ahavas talmidei chachamim.
Our children see who we respect – let us be more demonstrative of our very strong feelings of humanity, of a [unclear]lity. And our emunah, our emunah in torasoinu hakadosho. Kol Hatorah byudeni nusono lmoshe rabeinu, and the Rambam says that goes on torah sheviksav, and on torah shebalape. Every os, every letter is kodosh. And our children have to feel it, and they can only feel it if we feel it. Boruch hamokom, boruch hu, boruch lamu yisroel .. boruch hu. [Unclear] the joy that we feel that we are gifted [unclear] to receive the Torah min hashamyim, from borei olam olei.
That everybody knows – how fortunate we are. And that’s the only effective way to combat the assault [unclear] – the terrible assault – the assault against the authenticity of our prayer – the way it was given over l’mesoros ldor vdor. The only way that we can prevent that these words havsholem that are spread around in such terrible way should not be able to undermine the foundations of our emunah – Torah minHashamayim – and that the mesoros that the words of chazal is emes ad hayom haze.
We don’t have a tayna when people ask questions with derech eretz. We don’t have a tayna even when people disagree with us with derech eretz. But when it’s done in such sarsactic, cynical, vulgar way – the language – it belongs to the gutter – becomes the language used against bnei torah, against talmidei chachamim, against rabbonim, against manhigim, against rebbeim, against [unclear]. But we have to rise when it happens. Because we need to know that what one is saying is [unclear]. Even one has an example, even when there is a true situation that took place. But to brand all rebbeim and paint them with the same brush, to criticize all manhigim…
Yes, I would say that we do sweep under the carpet sometimes. You know when we sweep under the carpet – [unclear] what we don’t, what we do. Do these people know how many times perpetrators have been dealt with? Do these people know to what extent one has to have the courage, to stand unengaged with public opinion in order to make sure to protect our children? The only thing – and that was swept under the carpet – because we protect human dignity. We are not the cowardly [unclear] anonymous people – we are courageous! And let it be said – and sometimes some things are not probed 100%. Yes, we are guided by the Torah but don’t jump to conclusions – there are consequences. And we have to proud of this – the olam hatorah has to be proud of their manhigim. And has to know, that not that [unclear[ this approach in itself, the taana that one swept things under the carpet – is in itself our greatest honor. Because it was done al derech hatorah, bruach hatorah, al pi hatorah hakodosha. If someone slips through the fingers, the chutzpah to hold on us [unclear] as an example of klal yisroel [unclear].
I want to talk for a brief moment binyan daas torah. Rabbi Ephraim azay kegunt shtark spoke so impressibly. I want to make a point – we have to understand – when emunah in daas torah begins. Emunah in daas torah beings in emunah in torah. Emunah in torah – hatorah min hashamyim. Emunah in our chazal and emunah [unclear] of our emunah in torah – that chazal that says if harishonim .. bnei, adam, onu hamorim. We have to know that this thing, we have to know the gadlus of the previous generations that we have no – which we have no hasogo, no way how to estimate that. Its is so far away from us. And starting from chumash the maskilim, who most of these people are talmidim of them, they started relating latzonos of the Torah, and in a very subtle way bringing everything down. Mekiras Yosef was just sibling rivalry – [unclear] – we are talking about shivtei kah! [Unclear] The way that we were taught it in cheder with hadras kovod – [unclear] – with kedusah and tahara – people learn chumash like this and then mishnayos of the [unclear] of Tannaim which we have no hasogo of. They were able to be mihaye mesim, but they all lived a life of kedusha and prishushus, U tannaim, Urishonim Uacharonim. Ad hyom haze each generation end of another era, dropping from stage to stage. Umalachim bnei adam. Aval lmaasei if we would have that derech eretz for the words of torah, derech eretz for the words of chazal. [unclear] mit the heileak chazal. The daas torah would be natural because daas torah just means someone who spent his lifetime – [unclear] – spent his lifetime yomim vleylos shagiya btorah – that’s daas torah. Its not tained by any outside influence.
I heard once from Rabbi Shmuel Greinman zt”lb, he said over from the chofetz chaim, he said that a mama brings to the table a glass milk – a glass of milk for the child – milk is healthy. Then one puts some dirt into it, puts some [unclear] into it – which are a lot of things which are poisonous to her [unclear] drink glass of milk. Because its rov milk, 80% milk, its only 20% of the other stuff. It’s finished – its not milk. Daas torah needs persons mind that’s imbuded with torah, the whole chochmah that he is involved with is Torah, he is completely, completely involved only in the daas hashem min hashayim which is Torah. As soon as he’s got a bit of [unclear] studies here, a little bit of opinions from the newspapers there, other people’s ideas then it all becomes part of his, what he considers his wider knowledge. Its not wider knowledge – its sparse knowledge, because emes is Torah.
[Unclear] painful subject, subject of agmus nefesh and tzar, because we don’t know how many are [unclear] by these facts. We don’t even know even whether it’s an ideology [unclear] – even if you have no access – the language is a language that is spoken already in the [unclear]. [Unclear] to protect our children from this type of attack. The emes is, I think, it would be a fitting thing [unclear] these few words, I don’t think [unclear] the way to show that one had understood a message, the way to show your appreciation and if you accept the message, I don’t think in this particular case, clapping is appropriate.
One other thing, that we need to stand on of the [unclear] has vasholem. We need to stand up to be mehabid the gedoli hadoros, [unclear] kevodo ad ofor. we have to be methakin, stand up in respect for those of us that [unclear]. I don’t know how many of you are familiar, unfortunately there are people that inform me of certain words that are being said, gedoli – that we hold in such great esteem. That has to be a demonstration that we hold, zevach lashem, that are we hold that we are not going to be in any way influenced by those insidious remarks. That we are going to show a demonostration to the rebonio shel olam this evening here that we are mehabeit the gedoli yisroel, the chillul hashem [unclear] we want Kiddush shem shamayim, kiddus .. brabim, that’s what the rib shel olam is earning for. That aza a chibah, [we] should get up and say ribono shel olam we are your soldiers, we are your servants, we are the mkabil ol malchus shamayim. We received the Torah, [Ein od belavda].
We received the Torah from you hashem yisborach, an ol. At the time [unclear] of Matan Torah, we accepted the ol malchus shamayim with azai simcha, because we realized that when we attach ourselves to Your [unclear], then your [unclear] is guranteen, our hatzalah is guaranteed and as long is klal yisroel are dovuk to this gevaldiki [unclear] which we received at har Sinai then all went well with us. And its only when other ideas impenetrate, its only when our convictions stick in not has vasholem that we begin to lose our emunah, rather we begun to lose [unclear] simchas chachaim. It not [unclear],. I would ask rabbosai that one stand up and demonostrate and show to the ribonei shel olam, let us say together that one pasuk, let us together ne mikabel ol malchus shamayim, the one possuk of Mattan torah, the possuk of simchas torah, let us together be [unclear] our rotzon to dedicate our lives, to connect to devkus of ribonei shel olam because … this way we have the protective armor and that none of this latzanus would make any impression on us. And when we come and sit back, the simchas hachayim and teach our children “ato horesu ldaas”, then we will know that they will also in no way impressed. That would be the zchus for us to be zoche bezras hashem yisborach to the geulah shelemo and [unclear] kovod shamayim which bezras hashem yisborach [unclear].
Ato horesu ldaas. Ein od belvado…

30 thoughts on “What do the GOP and Hareidim have in common?

  1. Not all haredim are so fanatically devoted to the State of Israel. The Satmars are vehemently anti-Zionist. And the Neturei Kartera, whose activities have included participating in a prayer vigil for Yasser Arafat and praising Iran’s president Ahmadinejad, believe that Zionism is a presumptuous affront against God.

  2. Isn’t it paganistic idol worship to have such an affinity to protect ‘our own’ that we ignore the basic human rights of all kids not to be battered by pedophile sex perverts?
    Or, am I wrong?

  3. It would be really nice to see the zeal that mobius brings to bear on his fellow Jews be applied to the palestinians and other muslims. Next item: What do the nazi’s and arabs have in common?
    Otherwise I think this is another good example of Jews coming down harder on their fellow Jews than on non-Jewish enemies.

  4. gee, fm, you’re right. i should just let the whole protecting sexual predator thing slide, because the arabs are nazis.
    do my people a favor — unconvert.

  5. So, FM, is demolishing the psyches of children, through the sexual battering of pedophiles, an ok thing as long as the pedophiles are otherwise kosher?
    Is this what you’re really fucking saying?

  6. MOBIUS. Obviously everyone applauds when a victimizer of children is brought to justice, but is this such an applauding, or are you exhibiting anti-charedi prejudice?
    Even this particular rabbi’s own family has people in it who are wonderful, as does the yeshiva in question. Let’s not take this into the land of unjustified blanket generalizations which do not apply.
    “Charedim”, regardless of the actions of any number of rabbis or corrupted batei din (or kosher batei din with corrupt to’anei rabbani/rabbinic lawyers making corrupt claims), do not applaud, hide, or condone child molestation in any degree. Such actions are no more a representation of Torah Orthodoxy than Hezbollah is a representation of Shi’a Islam.

  7. Pity this will not get picked up by the media at large.
    I’d love to see how the yahoos who brayed that the rampant pedophilia of the priest perverts was caused by celibacy, might explain perversion among the non-celibates…

  8. And what about the reform rabbis who are accused of being child predators? Does that mean that all Reform Jews agree with child molestation? And how many times did people not cover for a child predator in the Hareidi community, why single out this case? And how many times were non-Hareidim and even non-Jews who were sexual predators covered by their friends? You, Mobius, would do the same if your friend was accused of something that you think he did not do, especially if he was alreadu acquitted by a court which is much more legitmate in terms of legalistic truisms than the American judicial system. And before you go around bashing Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, you must understand that Loshon Harah is indeed a horrible plague, if UnOrhtodoxJew wanted to get Kolko in trouble for whatever reason, he didn’t have to go to the internet and spread the rumors to the entire world, he could have told the proper authroities and it could have been taken care, but instead he made a huge chillul hashem by using the internet to further his anti-Chareidi beliefs and demonizing the most pious groups of people in the world. This site itself has a little picture next to the “Submit” button for each comment that says “Jewish bloggers for responsible speech online-Shemiras HaLashon” do you know what that means? Do you think you, Mobius acted properly in posting this?

  9. you think this started with UOJ?
    there were numerous complaints about kolko in the course of his 30 years of predatorship. in each case, the complaintants were either disregarded or intimidated. kolko was shifted from one position to the next in order to take the heat off of him. it was the same exact situation with baruch lanner and it’s indicative of a systematic problem. no one has ever been held accountable for letting lanner slide, nor will they be held accountable for letting kolko slide. and it will happen again and again because — guess what — the hareidi world has its head up its ass, believing it worse to pursue an alleged sex offender than to permit the endangerment of children. so yes, it’s a hareidi problem (a problem you’re clearly part of, as you stonewall behind the lashon harah defense, just as kolko’s protectors), because the hareidim are terrified of change — changing the guard, changing the policies, changing the practices. that’s what it MEANS to be hareidi. it does not mean you are pious. it means you are protecting the old guard, despite the obvious fact that they do not have your best interests at heart, but rather their own power. and usually it’s because you’re worried that it’s going to fuck up your relationship to everyone else who hasn’t seen the light. so you cower in fear of herem, and never ever bring about change.
    “do not stand by the blood of your brother… unless it’s his bleeding 11 year-old asshole. in which case, keep your mouth shut and don’t rock the boat.”
    further, it is not lashon harah to warn a community about the misdeeds of another, and you are OBLIGATED to give tokhaha, even when there’s the possibility that no one will hear it.
    bamaeh beheimah / shabbos 55a
    r’ zeira said to r’ simon: master should rebuke the house of exilarch for their transgressions; r’ simon said to him: they do not accept rebuke from me. r’ zeira said to r’ simon: even though they do not accept it, master should nonetheless rebuke them, for r’ acha ben chanina said: HKBH has never retracted a good decree, substituting it with a bad decree, except when in failing to give rebuke (ezekiel 9:4).
    finally, whose chilul hashem is it? uoj’s for taking a stand? or kolko and his defenders’? you stand the definition of chilul hashem on its head.

  10. oh and by the way — if you think i trust a beit din as far as i can throw it, you clearly underestimate my familiarity with the hareidi world.
    fyi — my grandfather was the vice president of the agudah. my mother grew up in that world. the beit din allowed her first husband to extort tens of thousands of dollars from my grandparents in exchange for my mother’s get.
    you think i trust their rulings? please.

    Lamenting the state of hasidic Judaism in Poland, The Yehudi once spoke to R’ Bunim, saying, “I thought to myself, after Moses there came the Judges; and after the Judges there came the Prophets; and afterwards the Men of the Great Assembly; and after them the Tanayim, the Amorayim, and the Poskim. And afterwards were those who reproved for the sake of heaven; and then that degenerated and there were many reprovers for the sake of heaven. And then that degenerated for there were many reprovers who were not genuine. And afterwards came the Rebbes. And therefore I’m groaning for I see that that too will degenerate — and what will the Jewish people do?”

  11. also, yitz: why is it with you that whenever a chareidi person does something abhorrent and disgusting, “you have to see where he’s coming from,” but whenever i criticize that disgusting act, i’m engaging in anti-hareidi prejudice? and why is it that it seems perfectly okay for chareidim to dish out as much criticism of the world outside their own circle (which they know of only vicariously, seeing how they’ve never experienced that world) mocking and assailing liberal jews endlessly, but when people show them their own dirt they flip their shit and start screaming discrimination? i’m sick of this bullshit double standard. the hareidi world is undoing itself as we speak right now. i’m telling you there’s a leak in the boat and you’re telling me there’s no leak as the water’s rising up to your knees. you can’t save a sinking ship with a PR campaign friend. you either gotta fix the boat or jump ship.

  12. I happen to be very close friends with a son of Agudas Yisroel’s current Vice President Shmuel Bloom, I assure you that you accusations against the Agudah are entirely baseless. Baseless hatred. It is one thing to notify the proper authorities if someone is doing something wrong, but to post it all over the internet for the entire world to see and paint a bad picture of Torah True Judaism is the worst-case example of Chillul HaShem. “the beit din allowed her first husband to extort tens of thousands of dollars from my grandparents in exchange for my mother’s get.” and what about all those caes of extorition in the secular world using secular courts? I know stories of men who had to pay their wives lots of money in order for them to receive a get, so the opposite is also true. The same can be true in non-Beis Din proceedings. Everytime you write, Mr. Sieradski, your zede the minchas elazar rolls in his grave. Don’t you have a gay pride parade to attend or something?

  13. Good grief, Reb Chaim, where, indeed is your head?
    If the “proper authorities” look the other way, does that mean that it’s ok for the kids to continue to be sexually brutalized?
    And, do you really think that because justice is not always served in secular courts, that makes it ok for corruption to exist in religious ones?
    Aren’t we to hold ourselves to a much higher standard? Or, am I wrong to truly consider that we are b’tselem elohim, and should have fun, acting accordingly?

  14. If the “proper authorities” look the other way, does that mean that it’s ok for the kids to continue to be sexually brutalized?
    Obviously they did not go to the proper authorities or they lacked need proof, because a beis din cannot just ignore a serious claim like this, but they also cannot just accept it as fact and ruin a person’s life.
    And, do you really think that because justice is not always served in secular courts, that makes it ok for corruption to exist in religious ones?
    My point was that Mobius criticizes the Hareidi community everytime they make even a slight mistake while others who make even bigger mistakes are left untouched by his harsh words.
    Aren’t we to hold ourselves to a much higher standard? Or, am I wrong to truly consider that we are b’tselem elohim, and should have fun, acting accordingly? Indeed we do have higher standards.

  15. Anyone who thinks that the charedi world is corruption-free has never left their house (or learned Navi). That’s not the point. Obviously, any system of justice can be corrupted by a bad judge or 2. Or 20. Or 200. But even rank-and-file Lakewood-in-the-blood chevra don’t follow the Agudah like this to the point one could say that the charedi world is this monolithic on this, or any issue.
    I’m actually pissed about the Agudah thing for a different reason. Fine. Let’s say you don’t talk about this. Of all the things going on in k’lal Yisra’el in 5767 the big plague affecting the Jews is — blogs?
    That made me want to cry.
    None of my rebbeim whom I contact regularly are aligned with Agudas Yisra’el. Many frum people could say the same thing. This case does not show corruption so endemic as to damn the entire charedi world as being people who aid and abet felons.
    I’m obviously not trying to say you know nothing about the charedi world — please, you were Jewish long before I was. But, I’m also telling you — word on the street in Boro Park regarding this was not comprised of a choir of, “Nu, Yankel, how are we going to shpring Reb Yidel from jail” either.

  16. Everytime you write, Mr. Sieradski, your zede the minchas elazar rolls in his grave. Don’t you have a gay pride parade to attend or something?
    the minchas elezar is my great-uncle, not my grandfather. and i think gay sex is gross but i still think gay people are entitled to the same rights and freedoms i expect for myself in a free society. standing up for those rights is not inconsistent with torah, but thinking you can get people to love god and torah by beating them over the head with a stick is.
    My point was that Mobius criticizes the Hareidi community everytime they make even a slight mistake while others who make even bigger mistakes are left untouched by his harsh words.
    so much for not attacking the person.
    and good job advancing the same argument as FM about me giving undeserved attention to the hareidi world. however, i’m not the one running around proclaiming myself to be the bearer of the one and only TORAH TRUE JUDAISM.
    and i also don’t know wtf you’re talking about. “a slight mistake?”
    like what–throwing a baby against a wall and then rioting it’s a zionist conspiracy? dragging arabs out of their taxis on purim and beating them? throwing bleach at women whose tzenuah clothing is too colorful? setting cop cars on fire? offering rewards of $20,000 to kill homosexuals? terrorizing your neighbors and demanding they move out of their house because one of their children may or may not have gone off the derech?
    which is the “slight mistake” you’re referring to? hmm? which one of the above mentions of the hareidi world — because those are the only ones i can recall in the last year of blogging — is the slightest, most miniscule infraction that i’m exhibiting my prejudice in posting about?
    and who have i not given my attention to?
    reb chaim: you’re a chareidi protectionist. zeh oh.

  17. to post it all over the internet for the entire world to see and paint a bad picture of Torah True Judaism is the worst-case example of Chillul HaShem
    no friend, the rabbi raping the child is the chilul hashem. the community doing nothing is the bigger chilul hashem. coming forward and doing whatever’s in your power to do something about it? that’s the kiddush hashem, and it shows that the hareidi world isn’t completely filled with evil people.
    as if the whole world was reading UOJ. like there were 5 people outside the hareidi community itself that even noticed.

  18. Mobius:”gee, fm, you’re right. i should just let the whole protecting sexual predator thing slide, because the arabs are nazis.”
    I didn’t say that, I agree with you on the sexual predator thing. But you did overgeneralize, something you probably wouldn’t do had the perpetrator been an arab or democrat.
    In my last post I made a separate, perhaps off topic, observation. Namely that Jews are not afraid to stand up to their own but cower in fear from arabs. We saw this the last time for their willingness to stand up to the hareidi with respect to the gay parade but not to the arabs about the temple mount. Talk about priorities.

  19. Go, Mobius! Finally, a puncture in the above-the-law balloon! BTW, this story made it into the NY Times.
    Variations on this stuff spills over to non-Chareidis, too. True story: my 2nd grade son attended a chareidi-run community dayschool. He came home with a bruise on his arm. When pressed, he told me that one of his teachers, a young, freshly-married guy who taught Judaic subjects, had twisted his arm because he started to go out the door too soon at lunchtime.
    I spoke with the headmaster who rolled his eyes and asked me what I expected him to do about it. I suggested a conference with the three of us. “And then what?” he asked. I didn’t expect this kind of apathy & therefore didn’t have a good answer. The headmaster said “that’s the way things are in yeshiva.”
    I went to speak with the teacher myself. He rolled his eyes as we spoke, looked out the door instead of at me (I ended up pushing the door closed with my foot, which really set him off), and attempted to blame a class of 6 7-year olds for his violent outbursts (yes, he admitted to this). He said that this was no big deal in yeshiva- why was I making something out of it- and told me that this had happened to him frequently as a child. I explained that it was wrong- and illegal, and he seemed astonished, but acknowledged what I’d said when pressed (it was like talking to a very disrespectful wall).
    I told him that I was going to tell the other parents about this issue (turns out there were other instances of this behavior that had been hushed up) and told him if he laid a hand on any child in the class, we were going to call the police.
    When I told the headmaster about our conversation, he expressed sorrow that I’d taken things into my own hands (what else was I supposed to do?) and told me that there were “other problems” with this man (oh, now he tells me…) and that they were “trying to fire him”. Regardless, he stayed on until the end of the year. We enrolled our children in another school the following year.
    Reading the stories of the Kolko incidents made me realize there’s a formula here. It was like deja vu for me. We can’t ignore this stuff.

  20. Reb Chaim HaQoton’s diatribes are an example of something I described under the “Christian mutation” post by Ruby K. Perceived victimization, the line of demarcation between “us” and “them” – these help to reinforce a group mentality and a sense of collective identity.
    Reuven, enough. You’re a twenty year old kid who’s been raised in an autonomous, separatist environment. You know little of the world, and what you do know is perceived through the lens of the fundamentalist belief system with which you’ve indoctrinated. I have to think that if you were all that secure in your beliefs, if you didn’t harbor your own doubts and anxieties, and if you really were certain that these stories aren’t true or represent rare, isolated occurrences – you wouldn’t be running all over the web, telling the rest of us how awful we are, how wrong we are about absolutely everything, and trying to impress us all with your illustrious genealogy. How do you have time for anything else?
    Someone isn’t guilty of committing an act of Chillul Hashem simply because he says something publicly that threatens the hierarchy you’ve been taught to regard as sacred. You are not the arbiter of all things Jewish.
    And I am absolutely SICK of hearing the term “Torah-True Judaism”. It’s a meaningless phrase that the Chareidim came up with in order to define themselves in opposition to the rest of us. So much for ahavas yisroel.
    Dan is absolutely correct when he says, “. that’s what it MEANS to be hareidi. it does not mean you are pious. it means you are protecting the old guard…”. Dan, the only thing I’d add is that Reuven isn’t a “Chareidi protectionist”; he isn’t mature enough to be one. He’s a strident, sometimes mean-spirited kid with a set of misguided opinions.

  21. Exactly. Applauding a victimizer of children being brought to justice = “ridding the house of the mice.” But please, all I’m saying is, no blanket damnations of all who wear black.
    In addition, no one should ever ever bring one’s dead ancestors into an argument like that. That’s just a tacky attempt at 3rd-rate mussar. It may also be offensive and/or traumatizing. As a general rule, one shouldn’t say something like that — “every time you do X your grandfather turns in his grave” — ever.

  22. “In my last post I made a separate, perhaps off topic, observation. Namely that Jews are not afraid to stand up to their own but cower in fear from arabs. We saw this the last time for their willingness to stand up to the hareidi with respect to the gay parade but not to the arabs about the temple mount. Talk about priorities. ”
    I don’t think it’s fear. There’s a big inyan of being harsher on your own communities than others precisely because there’s such a taiva to do the opposite. One of my favorite Shlomo Carlebachisms: “I have no right to talk bad about any other religions, I can only talk bad about my own.”
    That is to say, you are chayuv for the things going on in your house, and much less so on other peoples, and I think Most Israelis, rov am yisrael, are holding that the temple mount is not our house: hasn’t been for a long time, and would only be trouble if we were in charge of it maybe.

  23. Y-Love, don’t encourage him.
    Reuven, I know you think you’re proving your point, but you aren’t. Firstly, you can’t equate an attempt on the part of a mainstream magazine to cash in on an internal Jewish matter with a blogger who has a much smaller, largely Jewish audience voicing his opinion.
    Secondly, you can’t know Dan’s motivation, or the motivation of those of us who agree with him. I’m sure you think you can make an educated guess, based on the way you perceive us, but that’s the problem – your perceptive ability has been molded by an upbringing in a community that feels threatened by any sort of criticism from the outside. In short – I don’t think you can see this situation objectively.
    Again – you spend a great deal of time online, attacking those who disagree with you. Some months ago, you went out of your way to take a few swipes at Aviel Barclay on your first day at the Daily Scribe, a blog digest to which you both contribute. You and I had some words about it at the time. Last year, you hijacked that other fellow’s blog. I’m sure you think you’re doing it to defend “Torah True Judaism”, but, as that other blog post says “Our Torah has lasted for more than 3000 years and will outlast this latest scandal.” If we really are wrong, the Torah doesn’t need you to defend it. I have to think that there are other reasons for your outbursts, about which I speculated earlier.
    And someone is neither automatically right because he is Chareidi, nor automatically wrong because he isn’t. I say it again – you are not the arbiter of all things Jewish. Even if we are wrong in our various interpretations of Judaism (and I don’t believe that we are, but that’s another matter), you don’t yet know enough to be as condescending toward us as you are.
    Seriously – do your parents know how much time you devote to all of this? Because I’m thinking of writing them a letter. I am not joking.

  24. “Seriously – do your parents know how much time you devote to all of this? Because I’m thinking of writing them a letter. I am not joking.”

    My instinctive response is ROFL.

  25. Off topic: I, unlike Mobius, do not think that gay sex is gross. I mean c’mon, who hasn’t watched the “L word’ or “Queer as Folk”. Gay sex is smokin!

  26. Just for the record, I don’t think that all Haredi Jews are molesters, or offering rewards for killing the likes of me, or mobsters. But I do think that the standards for remaining within the Haredi communities force otherwise good people to look the other way when the see injustice, when they see crimes being committed within the community. And that’s wrong.
    Every Haredi Jew who knew about this Rabbi’s 30+ years of molesting dozens of children and did nothing because he’s a Rabbi is complicit in this horror. Every teacher in the school who knew that children were being abused and did nothing because he’s a Rabbi is complicit. And somehow I’ve never once heard of a cover-up of this scale happening in the Reform, Reconstructionist, or Conservative movements. I am not saying that these movements are better – but I am saying that they don’t foster the same sense of insularity that leads to the majority of a community staying silent when it’s necessary for someone to speak up.

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