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A Net Gain

In the past few years, an increasing number of allegations about rabbinic sexual impropriety have come to light, beginning with charges against Rabbi Baruch Lanner and more recently against Rabbi Mordechai Gafni of Bayit Chadash in Israel and Rabbi Yehuda Kolko of a boys’ yeshiva in New York City.

The most recent allegations have tended to crop up first on the Internet–either on blogs such as Un-Orthodox Jew or Jewish Whistleblower, or web sites like The Awareness Center. This makes sense since it’s much easier to get your message out on the Internet than through more traditional media. But it also raises the specter of unfounded allegations being put out as fact, without any of the usual checks by impartial third parties that would happen before, say, an article would be published in a newspaper.

The ease of disseminating allegations online raises serious questions about lashon ha-ra– harmful or slanderous speech. Once an allegation–however unfounded–is out in the world, the reputation of the rabbi in question is almost irretrievably ruined.

Even if the allegation is later proven to be false, very few congregations or organizations want to hire a person whose name has been publicly linked with sexual abuse. Moreover, a spate of unfounded accusations makes it that much harder for people with legitimate complaints to be taken seriously. Indeed, serious charges have been leveled against the Awareness Center and its director, Vicki Polin, for its failure to institute reliable checks or to remove discredited information.

These are very serious concerns, but so too, of course, are unchecked acts of abuse by rabbis, particularly those involving minors.

I tend to agree with Rabbi Michael Dratch of JSafe, who recently wrote that too often legitimate concerns and allegations have gone unheeded, with organizational leaders closing ranks to support abusers and marginalize the victims. It is exactly this lack of responsiveness to legitimate allegations through official channels that drives people to post their allegations on the Internet, because they have nowhere else to go.

In too many cases, the Jewish community has proven willing to ignore or to silence accusers in order to protect its own image, as we have seen time and again with the Catholic Church. This lack of accountability is unconscionable: not only does it re-victimize those who have been abused; it also allows sexual predators to abuse again.

Given the seriousness of the crimes and the lack of other outlets for airing allegations, I believe Internet postings, even with the dangers they entail, are the clear lesser of two evils. Readers should take what they find online with a grain of salt and allow those accused the opportunity to defend themselves. And we all should work toward making our communities more open and transparent, to restore confidence that serious charges can be aired and will be addressed sensitively and appropriately.



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Michelle

posted June 9, 2006 at 12:00 am


Rabbi Waxman, As someone working with victims of abuse, I am disappointed. Vicki Polin appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show as “Rachel,” claiming to have been “forced to participate in that [ritual] in which [she] had to sacrifice an infant.” Whether she is the victim of child abuse or recovered memories, she cannot be making these decisions on her own. She has never uncovered an abuse case later confirmed by credible sources, and is the source of many of the unfounded accusations you mentioned. Her work gets in the way every time we try to put a spotlight on a real abuser, like Gafni. Her Awareness Center is NOT the lesser evil. It gets in the way of those of us really trying to help.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 9, 2006 at 5:47 am


1) Ms. Polin has been a valuable resource for many survivors. She has been a strong advocate on their behalf and at all times professional. 2) She and her organization were instrumental at the time in both the Rabbi Mordechai Tendler and Rabbi Mordechai Gafni cases among others. 3) It’s sad that someone claiming to work with survivors chooses to misrepresent facts to do a hatchet job on one of the few people who has had the guts to stand against the establishment and stand with and for the survivors of abuse and does so openly with disregard to the consequences. Obviously, you can see the price for doing so. Ms. Polin is braver than me. If only we had more like her.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 9, 2006 at 6:22 am


>Indeed, serious charges have been >leveled against the Awareness Center >and its director, Vicki Polin, for >its failure to institute reliable >checks or to remove discredited >information. Yeah, by the head of Edah and several Jewish Renewal leaders who claimed to have investigated and cleared Rabbi Mordechai Gafni of serious allegations despite never speaking to the survivors aged 13 and 16 at the time of their abuse. Rabbi Gafni recently fled Israel amidst numerous serious allegations of sexual misconduct, several currently before the police. Great source for those “allegations”. Turns out Ms. Polin did her homework and the rabbinic protection squad didn’t.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 9, 2006 at 6:45 am


It would seem Rabbi Waxman, that the link you use [to the now discredited allegations (by discredited community leaders) against Ms. Polin by, these leaders, until very recently, were public supporters and defenders of recently confessed sexual predator Rabbi Gafni] is from a website run by Yori Yanover a follower of Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch. Here’s a link to a profile by Luke Ford who has exposed Rabbi Mordechai Gafni and Rabbi Aron Tendler despite the best efforts of the rabbinical protection squad. see: http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/JHershyWorch.htm



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Dave

posted June 9, 2006 at 5:48 pm


Hi. My further comments on Rabbi Susan Grossmans comments about Rabbi Waxmans article: Re: Rabbi Waxman If a jew commits a crime, they would be held responsible by the US Justice system. To publicly air these unproven facts is virulent slander and loshon horah. It also shows your ambivalence to Judaism. ‘Information’ to you is more important than Torah law, caring about your fellow Jews or sense of decency. You are an outlaw Rabbi who would be excommunicated and worse if the temple was standing. For those that sin and cause others to sin (slandering in this case) repentenance is not accepted. The way you state these facts show prejudice and hatred towards your fellow jews. I now understand what reconstructionist judaism is: false judaism.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 9, 2006 at 9:33 pm


Actually, Dave you are wrong about the halacha. Try reading Harav Wosner Shlita’s Teshuvah on Removing a Rav 1) English summary at http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Tendler_Mordecai.html#Summary 2) Full Hebrew Teshuvah at http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/HaravWosner'sT'shuvah.pdf Also: 3) More halachic resources at: http://www.TheAwarenessCenter.org/legal.html



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HASH(0x214f6a7c)

posted June 9, 2006 at 11:41 pm


Did anyone see the Rabbi AND others, on the Dateline expose about Internet predators? Very sad indeed.



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ariel lee

posted June 10, 2006 at 2:28 am


As long as synagogue boards and executive directors support the behaviour of abusive clergy, there will be more victims. These people are just as guilty (maybe even more so) of abuse as are the errant clergy and should be brought to task as well. As long as victims of rabbinic abuse are slandered, villified, and marginalized in other ways by these people, the abuse continues until it reaches the point where the synagogue can no longer ignore it. Sad to say, the history is that the errant rabbi is then sent on his way to repeat his behaviour with another congregation. And the cycle goes on and on. This is also a disservice to the rabbi who does not get the help he needs to deal with his problem. Thus the synagogue power structure is responsible not only to the victims in its organization but to future victims and to the rabbi. This is why I would hold them even more accountable than the abusers themselves.



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Anonymous

posted June 10, 2006 at 2:50 am


As a Christian, reading about this makes me happy. Not because of these kinds of things happy but just to know that you are just like us and we are just like you.



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Ariel Lee

posted June 10, 2006 at 8:08 am


I am saddened that you find this a common bond between Jews and Christians. There are so many other things that you could be happy about, such as the fact that Jews and Christians share certain values, beliefs and textual sources. But to be happy that the common denominator is abusive clergy is very sad indeed. I would not tell Christians what to do or how to conduct their business, but as a Jew, I think Jews need to be proactive in ensuring that clergy abuse is not tolerated and in ensuring that not only that abusive clergy are held accountable but that those who allow it to continue by their complicity, their silence, their support of the clergy and their abandonment of the victims, are held equally accountable.



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Laura Mitchell

posted June 10, 2006 at 6:01 pm


Regarding the quality of information found on the internet: Unlike other mediums, things can be put on the internet without verification, like those urban myths and hoaxes. I don’t know how Ms Polin presented herself (I don’t watch Oprah, I’m usually watching Judge Judy at that time), but perhaps she wasn’t the best person to represent her organization. However, as in all cases of abuse, sexual or otherwise, this isn’t about sex, it’s about power.



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Arlene Shipley

posted June 10, 2006 at 7:27 pm


I was so saddened when I read this article. Now, having read such a painful comment from a fellow “Christian” I am also deeply ashamed: as a Human Being. I was saddened to see that once again, the frailty of mere human beings was held up to the scrutiny of the relentless, biased, unforgiving and shameless media. As if the deeds of one person could negate the exemplary values taught by Torah observation. I was saddened to see that once again the “system” thinks that denial will allow pain to stay in the darkness. Unless we Face evil and call it by it’s true name – it will always have power over us. But I am ashamed that someone who uses the term “Christian” to claim to speak for all Christians would even have such thoughts, let alone boast that such unforgiving, uneducated and toxic beliefs would join us in a commmonality/ and call it “happy.” Yes, as a survivor of abuse, I can say that abuse is one of the most horrific crimes against another human, and mankind. The negative energy from the accumulated different types of abuse in our world are very evident today, and rising. When will we learn as human beings, no matter how else we choose to categorize ourselves: that every human’s pain affects our world. THAT is one of the many things we have in common. Gloating about that pain, taking joy in it – Thank you G-d, is Not. For the person who obviously knew what they were saying was toxic – or they would not have chosen to be Anonymous: You are in my prayers every day when I pray for all of human kind. There but for the grace of G-d go I. As people of the “Book,” the sacred writing of the Torah and Old Testament, I am so grateful to unite in our commonalities while we celebrate our differences! As a Christian, I want to thank my Jewish brothers and sisters for thousands of years of daily prayers for the Messiah – I believe your/our prayers will be answered.



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Dave

posted June 11, 2006 at 4:21 pm


RE: Rabbi’s Waxman and Dratch The ‘abuse’ under discussion: is non-existent. You and Rabbi Dratch have manage to dredge up a few Rabbis whose guilt is unproven. Even if they were guilty, this is not the venue to air this kind of ‘shmutz’ (There are more targeted tools avaialable such as Jewish newspapers and periodicals). Compare this to another ‘leading’ religion where such actions were admitted and the practice of which, is rampant. For this minute sample, you consider it worthwhile to cast dirt on Judaism and Jews in general (the end result). Airing dirty laundry of this nature on the ‘net’ is a clear chillul hashem and public slander. To get some press you are willing to stoop to any depths. A true disgrace you continue to perpetuate on yourself and all your brother and sisters: the Jews! Think it’s time to stop?



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Dave

posted June 11, 2006 at 4:28 pm


Re: Arlene Shipley You mention ‘But I am ashamed that someone who uses the term “Christian” to claim to speak for all Christians would even have such thoughts’. You are using the term ‘Messiah’ in a similiar fashion. You must be aware that Jews do not believe in your version of the Messiah. Not making a clear distinction is blasphemous and insulting to Jews and also to the people of your religion.



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Dave

posted June 11, 2006 at 6:04 pm


Re: Mr. ‘Anonymous’ who did not leave their name. quoted “Actually, Dave you are wrong about the halacha.” Where does it refer (in the articles you mention) to the halacha about chilul hashem/possible motzi shem rah by spreading this among ‘ano yehudim’? Which chas v’sholem could also result in bilbul on Jews??? Where? Ask your Rabbi for clarification on this point.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 11, 2006 at 7:10 pm


As a service to reading and halachicly impaired Dave who has not given us ONE source for his false analysis of halacha and has clearly NOT read the links I left above or Rav Wosner’s teshuva: Excerpts: The Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse of Children by Rabbi Mark Dratch Originally published by the RCA Roundtable, Nissan 5752 … Despite the permissibility generated by the need to prevent future injury, Hafetz Hayyim prohibits the revelation of any information that would cause harm to the accused that is not based on bonafide evidence worthy of a court of Iaw.31 This prevents an innocent person from becoming the victim of false accusations and slander.32 This restriction severely hinders the revelation of instances of child abuse where the only confirmation of the abuse is the statements of minors whose veracity is unreliable, as they are generally considered as unfit witnesses,33 or circumstantial physical evidence. However, because confidential reports to agencies responsible for investigating such allegations will not harm a person’s reputation and because the testimony of children, supported by significant suspicions, may be acceptable testimony,34 this restriction does not prevent the proper prosecution of abusers or endanger the well being of children. In addition, when physical and mental pikuach nefesh is involved, one must, after careful deliberation and consideration of the evidence and its consequences, reveal serious suspicions. Thus, in cases of child abuse, where, after careful evaluation of the evidence it is believed that abuse has occurred, there is no prohibition of rehilut– even outside of the judiciary process. On the contrary, it is a mitzvah to inform others so as to protect them and their families from possible harm. Hafetz Hayyim, rejecting the possible objections of those who would deem this an unwarranted leniency, states that withholding such information is tantamount to withholding testimony in a court of law and is prohibited by “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy brother” (Lev. 19:16).35 This obligation to reveal this information holds: even outside of court proceedings;36 even if the informer is the sole source of information; even if the statement is based solely upon hearsay; and even if the abuser promises not to harm anyone else if there is concern that he cannot be trusted.37 INFORMING CIVIL AUTHORITIES AND HILLUL HASHEM Based on the verse, “These are the judgments which you shall place before them: (Ex. 21:1), Jewish law prohibits adjudication by Jews in non-Jewish courts.38 Rambam, elaborating on the severity of this sin, claims that “whoever adjudicates in a non-Jewish court … is wicked and it is as though he has reviled, blasphemed, and rebelled against the law of Moses.” 39 Many explain that the prohibition of mesirah, the reporting of a fellow Jew to civil authorities, is for the purpose of privileging the Jewish legal system over those of others. All legal matters concerning Jews should be redressed in a Jewish court according to Jewish law. However, there are many reasons why this prohibition does not apply in the case of child abuse. 1) Arukh HaShulhan maintains that mesirah was prohibited because of the nature of autocratic governments under which Jews lived throughout much of our history. Such informing often led to dangerous persecution of the entire Jewish Community. He posits that this injunction no longer applies in those communities in which the government is generally fair and non-discriminatory.40 Accordingly, it is obligatory in the Western world today to inform the civil authorities about child abusers. 2) The prohibition of mesirah applies only when testimony assists civil authorities in illegally obtaining the money of another Jew, not when it aids a non-Jewish government in fulfilling such rightful duties as collecting taxes and punishing criminals. When, however, the information concerns the criminal activities of a fellow Jew– as long as the Jewish criminal has also violated a Torah law, and even if the punishment will be more severe than the Torah prescribes 41 — the ban of mesirah does not apply.42 3) Even should one hold that the prohibition of mesirah is relevant today, reporting child abusers to civil authorities is nevertheless mandatory. According to Rema, even when the prohibition of mesirah is in force, “a person who attacks others should be punished. If the Jewish authorities do not have the power to punish him, he must be punished by the civil authorities.”43 Our Batei Din today have neither the power nor the authority to handle such matters. 4) Shulhan Arukh rules that the prohibition of mesirah restricts an individual who is being harassed from making a report to the civil authorities. However, when there is a meitzar hatzibbur (public menace), mesirah is permissible.44 Child abusers and molesters clearly endanger the welfare of many children with whom they have contact.45 5) The concern of hillul Hashem (desecrating God’s Name) has also been raised as an objection to the reporting of Jewish child abusers, i.e., it would be disgraceful for a Jew, especially an Orthodox one, to be tried publicly for such an offense and a hillul Hashem to resort to non-Jewish courts.46 However, the problem of hillul Hashem cuts both ways. Not reporting or testifying about such abuse, when such is required by civil law, is classified by Rosh as hillul HaShem.47 Although, according to Shulhan Arukh, the desecration of God’s Name occurs only in those cases when Jewish witnesses have been specifically designated by the non-Jews to testify, 48 Bach maintains that Rosh’s position applies in our own day even when such witnesses have not been officially summoned because of the danger to Jewish lives that may subsequently ensue by withholding information. Certainly, in countries where physicians, teachers, and youth workers are required by law to report suspicions of child abuse, it would be a hillul Hashem and a violation of dina de-malkhuta dina to withhold such information. The Mishnah, Avot 4:4, reminds us that sequestering a hillul Hashem will always be unsuccessful: “Whoever desecrates the name of Heaven in private will ultimately be punished in public, whether the desecration was committed unintentionally or intentionally.” Hence, a conspiracy to conceal information about abuse will ultimately be made public, creating an even greater hillul Hashem. The greater severity of the hillul Hashem in concealing the information can be further supported by the Talmud, Yoma 86b, which maintains that “one should expose hypocrites to prevent the desecration of the Name.49 Rashi explains that the reason for this disclosure is that people, thinking that this person is righteous, may learn from his behavior. Rambam is of the opinion that after unsuccessful attempts to correct the matter privately, public remonstration and broadcasting of the outrage is required. There is no concern about the hillul Hashem of exposing the offense. … 31. Hafetz Hayyim, Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 7, no. 20. 32. Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut, Kelal 9, no. 20. 33. Hilkhot Edut 9:1; Hoshen Mishpat 35:1. 34. Gloss of Rema to Hoshen Mishpat 35:14 which, under certain circumstances, accepts minors as eidei birrur based on a Takkanat kadmonim ascribed to either Rabbeinu Tam or Rabbeinu Gershom Me’Or haGolah. 35. Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut. kelal 9, no. 1. 36. Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 9, no. 3. 37. Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 9, no. 3 and Be’er Mayyim Hayyim nos. 9 and 10. 38. Gittin 88b. 39. Hilkhot Sanhedrin 26:7. For discussions of the prohibition of litigating in secular courts see Herschel Schachter, “Dina deMaIchusa Dina.” Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Vol. 1, no. 1. and Simcha Krauss, “Litigation in Secular Courts.’ Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Vol. 11, no. 1. 4O. Arukh HaShulhan, Hoshen Mishpat 388:7. This source is cited authoritatively by Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz in “The Abused Child: Halakhic Insights.” Ten Da’at, Sivan 5748. p. 12. 41. RaN to Sanhediin 46a. See,
however, Responsa Rema, no. 88, who maintains that according to Tosaphot, Baba Kamma 114a, s.v., ve-lo, if the punishment is greater than the Torah prescribes, there is a prohibition of mesirah. 42. Herschel Schachter, “Dina deMalchuso, Dina,” p. 118. 43. Hoshen Mishpat 338:7 and Shakh, no. 45. See also Gloss of Rema to Hoshen Mishpat 338:9; B’nei Hayei and Maharam miRiszburg cited in Pahad Yitzhak, Maarekhet Hoveil Behaveiro. 44. Hoshen Mishpat 338:12 according to the text quoted by Shakh, no. 59 and Gra no. 71. 45. See statement of Rabbi Waldenberg quoted in Nishmat Avraham, Vol. IV, p. 209. 46. See Responsa Binyamin Zev, no. 282 and Responsa Ba’i Hayi, Hoshen, Mishpat no. 158. 47. Rosh to Baba Kamma, chapter 10, no. 14. 48. Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat 28:3. 49. See also Hilkhot De’ot 6:8 …



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Dave

posted June 11, 2006 at 10:36 pm


To: Whistleblower Clearly you are what is known as a ‘self hating’ jew. You degrade and insult your fellow jews. In fact you are the one who doesn’t know the law. You also didn’t bother to carefully read what I have been writing. That’s why you saw the need to quote volumenous, irrelevant blobs of information. I only refer to the venue in which you and others of your ilk air dirty laundry. I stated the the internet is the wrong place. The judicial system is fine as are Jewish newspapers and periodicals which are publically targeted to jews. That is because the potential sinners/lawbreakers are jews in a jewish setting. It’s worrisome that you’re afraid to even mention your first name. You quote fragmented sources but as is well known there are many rulings on this. You present those that strengthen you’re position. Many are fabrications, irrelevant and are contrary to halacha and only a qualified Rabbi (which you definately are not) can rule on this. You show your ignorance by trying to quote sources that you do not properly understand and state that these are the law. You are ‘choti u’machti es horabim’ i.e. ‘sin and cause others to sin’ by trying to pass off your statements and limited knowledge as jewish ‘law’. Actually your handle ‘Whistleblower’ says it all. Causing a chilul hashem on the ‘net’, as I originally stated, is a sin and the wrong way to go.



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Dave

posted June 11, 2006 at 10:40 pm


To: Whistleblower By the way, I read all your links. Your responses are an example of Jewish law gone obfuscated and gone haywire. Impressive to those ignorant of it, but clearly not the way Jewish law works…and a further attempt at distortion by you.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 11, 2006 at 10:46 pm


Dave, you have yet to explain with ANY sources your halachic basis for any of your claims. You clearly have nothing of substance to add to this conversation.



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eastcoastlady

posted June 12, 2006 at 4:41 pm


The idea of posting allegations “just in case” is a terrible idea! How can one risk sullying the reputation and ruining the life of one who could be proven innocent?! Loshon hara speaks of keeping silent even in light of actual knowledge of something negative unless it suits a legitimate purpose to reveal the information. How disappointing to read of an opinion that seems to support posting info even in light of the absence of proof.



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eastcoastlady

posted June 12, 2006 at 4:44 pm


As a Christian, reading about this makes me happy. Not because of these kinds of things happy but just to know that you are just like us and we are just like you. Anonymous | 06.09.06 – 8:55 pm | As a Jew, this just reinforces my long held belief that many (not all!!) Christians are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to “love thy neighbor”. What you are engaging in is called “Schadenfreude”.



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Dave

posted June 12, 2006 at 4:59 pm


To: Whistleblower No matter what I say, it can’t to seem to shake your ignorance of the facts and lack of ability to understand what I wrote. I’ve clearly stated the issues and have nothing else to add.



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jewishwhistleblower

posted June 13, 2006 at 7:02 am


As I said “Dave”, you have yet to explain with ANY sources your halachic basis for any of your claims. You clearly have nothing of substance to add to this conversation and little knowledge of what you are discussing.



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Ariel Lee

posted June 14, 2006 at 10:34 pm


The law of the land always supersedes Jewish law. I do not agree that we must protect criminals in order to follow Jewish law, not commit lashon hara and not bring disrepute on the Jewish community. Abusive clergy and those who protect them and allow them to perpetrate their crimes against their victims are the ones responsible for bringing disrepute on the Jewish community. Actually those victims who have the courage to speak out are doing a service to the Jewish community. The abusive clergy will not get help as long as everyone protects and covers up for them and the victims will be further traumatized. How is that good for the Jewish community? Are the victims lesser Jews? Does the Jewish community keep silence at all costs while the victims suffer? My understanding of lashon hara is that we do NOT protect criminals and people who harm others intentionally for the sake of not having negative speech. This is a totally ridiculous and inappropriate interpretation of Jewish law. Anyone who supports such an interpretation is dishonouring Jews and Judaism.



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hannah

posted June 16, 2006 at 5:22 am


I wonder if Rabbi Waxman has ever discussed his concerns about Vicki Polin and The Awareness Center directly with Ms. Polin. My bet is has not, and most likely has very little education when it comes to sexual violence



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Dave from Canada

posted June 16, 2006 at 6:09 am


Jewish Whistleblower, You are right on, brother. I agree with you 100 percent.



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Greg

posted October 12, 2006 at 9:55 pm


Check out this blog: aboutuoj.blogspot.com You will see what UOJ really is – decide what his motives are!



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Yechiel Cohen

posted December 3, 2007 at 12:12 pm


On the Operah Winnefry show in 1989, Vicki Polin said:
“I was raped by my orthodox Jewish congregation over an open Torah scroll on the synagouge floor for an orthodox Jewish ritual when I was a teenager”.
1. She is saying the truth and is a Hero for fighting orthodox Jewish ritual rape.
2. She is a Liar and seeks fame at the expense of orthodox Jews.
3. She is mentally ill and should be forced into an insane assylum for the public’s safety [protection from mentally ill slander that is life-damanging for all the accused citezens].
Personally, I think a Pinchus should handle her.
Yours Trully,
Yechiel



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gershon ben Yochanan v'Franja

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:42 pm


I fully support turning over a suspected sexual offender to the police. You don’t need a rabbi’s support for this. It should be immediate. And all information needed for persecution should be made readily available.
However, the awareness center’s sending emails to every address they can find about allegations is clearly lashon hara. They sent me an email on a particular person. It has been a long time since the allegations and he was never tried or anything.
There is a huge problem here. Some sent me an email spreading information concerning allegations about a particular individual. I am in no way connected with this person. He lives half a country away from me. So there is no possibility of a benefit being achieved. The Torah teaches that if I don’t reprove her, I’m equally responsible. Many people aren’t aware of that, so she is putting them in a situation where they will sin also. She should face a beit din about this and not be allowed to forward this type of email under the umbrella of Judaism.
We only have to look at the current war in Iraq to see the effect of allegations that weren’t proven. Bush alleged Iraq had WMD’s. They had none. He let stand insinuations they had something to do with 911. They didn’t. In fact, every point in the speech Collen Powell made at the UN was false. Now, Bush has been accusing Iraq of making nuclear weapons. But it now known to be false.
In our history, we have many examples of blood libel resulting in the death of many Jews. Should we be doing this to ourselves?
There is no greater good in broadcasting an unsubstantiated accusation to the world on the internet. Nor a substantiated accusation. These are the rules. If you want to reject the Torah in this area, then don’t be Jewish. Call yourself something else.
I’d suggest that anyone who thinks this is proper behavior read “Chofetz Chaim: A Daily Companion” available at Artscroll.



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