Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


All Pain and No Gain
Shielding Our Children from the Wrong Half
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Publication: Mishpacha Magazine

  Rated by 15 users   |   Viewed 10874 times since 6/25/08   |   22 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

6/25/08

This past summer I went with a close friend to Aspen, Colorado for two days, to recharge our batteries in the glory of Hashem’s world amid the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

On the first day of our trip, as we passed a moped rental establishment, I cajoled my reluctant friend into joining me, and we took two of the mopeds for a few hours. After thirty minutes of riding, I noticed a dirt path that snaked up a steep mountain, and once again used my persuasive powers to get my friend to take it to the top with me, where were rewarded for our efforts with breathtaking views.

One the way down, I simultaneously learned several lessons. First, riding up a mountain is far easier than riding down. Second, mopeds are rather difficult to manage downhill on bumpy dirt roads. Third, it is good practice to listen to a friend who tells you to act your age. And finally, it is rather excruciating to have several dozen pebbles imbedded in the palm of your hand.

In the emergency room of the local hospital, a doctor offered me several methods for the treatment of my hand, but strongly advised me to tackle the problem head-on and select the most painful option. This would involve peeling back the shredded skin, removing the larger pebbles with forceps and scraping the area with a brush to get rid of the many tiny ones. With a wry smile the doctor informed me, “Rabbi; no pain, no gain.”

That doctor’s sage advice can be applied to the arena of addressing communal issues as well. For when we are faced with significant klal challenges, we have the option of dealing with them squarely, or we can chose to merely manage them in a superficial manner without subjecting ourselves to the short-term pain that addressing them properly would entail.

When challenges are tackled directly and effectively, a temporary rise in the level of communal discomfort usually occurs. During that period, many people understandably feel that the proposed solutions are far worse than the original problem they are purported to solve. But, over time, a reduction in pain and a far healthier community invariably results.

Allow me to share an example with you: When a girl becomes very ill or worse as a result of anorexia, chas v’shalom, parents of teenage girls in that community who suspect that their daughter is anorexic reach out for help. A percentage of the girls will actually have eating disorders – upping the numbers of reported kids with such conditions. (This does not mean that more girls came down with eating disorders, only that the awareness caused more of them to reach out for help.)

But, then good things start happening. Schools bring in specialists to speak to the kids. Girls become more self-aware of their own eating habits. Peers eventually become informed enough that they can help their friends who are bingeing and purging. Eventually, eating disorder rates drop significantly, as the short-term publicity results in the long-term benefit of awareness and the creation of solution-oriented programs, that remain in place as the pain of the publicity subsides.

I mention this because, as I see things, many of us – with the best of intentions – are not discussing critical klal matters in our public squares because we want to protect the innocence of our children and the reputation of our community. Moreover, some take it a step further and accuse individuals who do discuss them of ‘charedi-bashing,’ “He never says anything nice,” or worse, discouraging or intimidating people who deal with these problems on a daily basis from speaking out. But we are merely shielding our children and kehila from the wrong half – the beneficial side – while leaving them completely exposed to what we are trying to protect them from. (I am most certainly not suggesting that we abandon our efforts to shield our children from the decadence of society. Only that we teach our children the lessons learned when distasteful events already have become public, rather than pretending that they didn’t happen.)

When abuse cases or drug arrests that are widely reported in the secular media, are not discussed at all or glanced over in our papers, we have the worst of all worlds. We are not really accomplishing our goal of shielding our kehila and teenage children – especially with exponentially growing digital communication. Our adults, even in the most heimishe circles, are reading about it via email and the Internet – often written by individuals who have a jaundiced view of our kehila – and those who don’t use the Internet are hearing about it from those who do. It is entirely possible to keep young children sheltered, but many or most of our teenagers hear about these incidents anyway from family members or their peers in school. So what we have are swirling bursts of information and misinformation which generate a growing sense of discomfort and “Human problems” cognitive dissonance among adults and kids. All the while, the suppression of this information and the personal attacks on those who dare to discuss them, means that far too little of the ‘good stuff’ – the things that could help prevent these issues from recurring, such as awareness or prevention programs – are happening.

Going back to my moped story; engaging in the ‘airbrushing’ of distasteful news and not teaching the lessons learned from them, is analogous to asking my doctor to leave the pebbles in place and painfully pull the skin over the stones to cover them. You know what the result would be – infection and far worse. All pain and no gain.

It is my fervent hope that moving forward we will usher in a new phase in our collective dialogue where we – excruciatingly but with steely determination – face our challenges head-on and seek to improve things for our children and grandchildren.

Recommended reading:

“He Never Says Anything Nice”

“The Monster Inside”

Safe and Secure

Human Problems



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 15 users    (22 comments)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)

Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


1. Well said     6/25/08 - 8:29 AM
Andy - Wesley Hills

I've read this kind of thing here before, but it's still expressed well and I guess it needs repeating again and again, as nobody but Rabbi Horowitz and a few other brave souls behave this way.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


2. No pain - no gain and our children     6/25/08 - 1:44 PM
AK-ey

Hi, I agree that by sweeping problems under the carpet or denying their existance the future will be all pain and no gain , so moving out of our confort zones is pretty important .

I have a question for Rabbi Horowitz - have you ever considered that making school harder, more strain ,longer hours etc is fueled by the words echoed by the doctor = No pain - no gain ?

Here are some quotes

I'll tell you something I've noticed from visiting a lot of American schools: the more traditional the teacher, the grimmer the mood. These classrooms don't always resemble Dickensian factories, mind you, but if you watch the kids' faces (or the teachers'), the phrase 'joy of discovery' probably won't leap to mind. And here's the interesting part: the people who defend the Old School usually don't deny that this is true, and they don't even seem to mind. Sometimes they actually take a perverse pride in presiding over (or sending their kids to) this bleak house because for them that constitutes proof that real education is happening. No pain, no gain. - Alfie Kohn, The Schools Our Children Deserve, p.108

Would that it were true! The author Frank McCourt, who taught at a prestigious New York City high school for 18 years, told the journalist John Merrow that only once in all that time had a parent ever asked him, "Is my child enjoying school?" Instead, all he—and, presumably, the students themselves—heard from parents were questions about test scores, college applications, and getting the work done

The irony is, appropriately enough, painful: Academic excellence, the usual rationale for such decisions, (longer hours , harder work , less free play etc)is actually far more likely to flourish when students enjoy what they’re doing. "Children (and adults, too) learn best when they are happy," as Nel Noddings observes in her book Happiness and Education. How they feel—about themselves, about their teachers, about the curriculum and the whole experience of school—is crucially related to the quality of their learning. Richer thinking is more likely to occur in an atmosphere of exuberant discovery, in the kind of place where kids plunge into their projects and can’t wait to pick up where they left off yesterday. Feel-Bad Education The Cult of Rigor and the Loss of Joy - A Kohn

Here is a quote from Jane Nelsen Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children DO better first we have to make them FEEL worse? When people first hear this quote from “Positive Discipline,” they usually laugh as they think about how it doesn’t make sense. However, when it comes to application, it seems that parents, teachers, and students have difficulty accepting that people do better when they feel better.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


3. to AK - improving schools, and moving towards better     6/25/08 - 2:39 PM
RG

First of all, thank you to Rabbi Horowitz, I agree with this article.

To AK. Kids hate unfairness. The old style schools, the grim ones, may not have produced happy, bouncy, discovering kids. But they were often very calm, and very fair, regular, and included art and P.E. and cooking and ball games in recess. They were quite bearable by the students, a place they confidently went to and learnt to the best of their ability. With adequate remedial for the slower students they were not bad places. Non-bouyant does not equate with unhappiness. A school need not be relinquish authority to students' understanding in order to be a place in which people learn well.

In my opinion a great breakdown in occuring in schools because there are so many individual emotional problems that the kids are experiencing nowadays. This is perhaps because now the world is a safer place to express emotional problems nowadays, or perhaps because society has made children and adults rather helpless in many ways, or for many other reasons. As a result, children at schools (and at home) often attack the discipline figures, silently demanding that their emotional issues (sadnesses, anger, depression) are more important than the school curriculum.

No large or small or game filled classroom will solve the problems that lie in the individual. As a kehilla, we must make these excellent and effective therapy and group therapy services available to kehilla members. There is already some movement in that direction, but while being well-intentioned is often not effective, or too lengthy, or only serves very specific groups of people for free. There is too much suffering in silence, three cheers for the teens of today for protesting!!!

I was recently reading about Sydney Banks and his philosophy on Innate Health. That's the sort of thing we ought to be introducing and absorbing, IMO.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


4. Old schools     6/25/08 - 4:23 PM
AK-ey

Rg, I use Old school =focus on Direct instruction, teacher focused rather than Progressive or more constructivist education , learner focused, where there is group learning, charutos, active learning and discussion, school is a community , guide by the side rather than sage on the stage education. Most schools are DI , yeshivas are more into coopertive and active learning.

calmness imho was a reflection of the docility of pupils and teachers prizing short term obedience over everything else.

Glimpses of the progressive education I refer to are the amazing teachers who stimulated discussion , dialog and curiosity.

Even without the problems you describe kids don't find school stimulating , interesting promting curiosity and the love of learning


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


5. Totally agree     6/25/08 - 4:42 PM
M Friedlander - Brooklyn, NY

And well stated. This is one of the biggest problems in our community, and thank you for addressing that, along with all the other pertinent issues that Rabbi Horowitz always does. Thank you.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


6.     6/25/08 - 5:03 PM
Anonymous

It's time for a little less talk and a lot more action.Although in theory I agree with article, since past experiences have repeatdly shown me that this type of talk exclusivly focuses on what (1)Yeshivos are doing wrong(2)How terrible frum people really are, with (3) no real advice of substance I'm just plain disillusioned about it's potential value.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


7. What Should I advise?     6/25/08 - 5:21 PM
anon 7

I have a question. Last week Rabbi Horowitz mentioned that boys suspected of abusing their sister were arrested by Israeli authorities.

A married person very close to me asked my advice. In the past he was an abuser and he can not rid himself of guilt. He is starting to drink too much. Both he and the girl he abused were young and he has since apologized to her profusely.

She also is married, and has since "moved on" and knows that this man is troubled, and has forgiven him to the best of her ability.

He wants to seek professional help. Does the professional (Jewish Frum or not, or even non Jewish if he choses that direction) have an obligation to report him? Will he be arrested by American authorities? What should I advise him?


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


8. To #6     6/25/08 - 5:39 PM
CB

That may be because you're waiting for an earthquake from the top down, which will never happen. What I see is an opening of the minds and a broadening of perspective by the "man on the street" who, I strongly believe, has the real power to take action and effect change, one child, one family at a time. Make no mistake, the earth is rumbling but from the bottom up.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


9.     6/25/08 - 5:46 PM
shaya - brookyln

Ashreinu sheyaish lanu rebbe kazeh


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


10. To anon 7     6/25/08 - 7:47 PM
Andy - Wesley Hills, NY

If you really want to help him, make inquiries to a criminal attorney. Don't ask (and rely) on advice from anonymous bloggers, or even Rabbi Horowitz, who is not an attorney.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


11. #7 Your Community Is In Mortal Danger     6/25/08 - 9:32 PM
Lisa M.

Please read this response, and tell it to your fiend.

>>>In the past he was an abuser>>>

If he was an abuser in the past, what makes you sure he’s not an abuser still? Learning self-help books or hearing rabbinic speeches doesn’t cure the illness. Without intensive therapy, monitoring and awareness by his synagogue, and community, the community is being exposed to a nuclear weapon. Make people aware of his past to avoid present and future harm to his innocent community.

>>>He is starting to drink too much>>>

1] The time bomb is ticking. The fellow is obviously depressed, feeling the heat (one way or other) and is starting to isolate. Addicts tend to go back to the vice that made them comfortable in the past, pick up new addictions, OR do a variation of both. Hence, my professional opinion that he is ACTIVELY A DANGER to his family, friends and community.

2] This is a very convenient tool abusers frequently use, when the heat gets too hot in the kitchen. They beg for a sympathetic response from their community, claim they are horribly victimized, and unfit to accept justice for the crime perpetrated. Alcohol use or allegations thereof tend to arouse sympathy and the impression of an innocent victim community activist should rally around.

Don’t fall into the trap, he’s clearly coming apart, and has potential of inflicting horrible pain on others. Get him the help he needs fast.

>>>Both he and the girl he abused were young>>>

By saying that he abused her, AGE doesn’t matter. Abuse by definition is not consensual. By American law ABUSE is illegal. Youth is not an excuse in America, I am surprised that Jews who are God’s Chosen People can use such excuses, to minimize the culpability of the abuser.

>>>He has since apologized to her profusely>>>

How sweet!!

Apologies are not worth the paper it’s written on. Again, you see the typical pattern of an abuser. They abuse, then apologize. Abuse again, and apologize profusely. They will do anything to bamboozle the victim from shining the needed light on his abuses.

Your friend is displaying the typical pattern of abuse. Guard the community vigilantly.

>>>She is married and has “moved on”>>>

Let me tell you one thing, I’ve always been taught about Jewish girls and women: Chastity and morality are foremost on their minds.

Therefore, I cannot fathom how she has “forgiven” her abuser and “moved on”, as a married Jewish woman with the numerous laws involved in maintain the sanctity of marriage (Thanks to the local Chabad rabbi for this) can simply “move on”. I have heard enough victim impact statements to know that abuse victims can’t simply live lives free of residual trauma. The effects it has on relationships is devastating. It is nearly impossible that the abuse doesn’t adversely affect her current marriage. Therefore, it is not her who has to grant an apology, but her husband.

>>>Does the professional have the obligation to report him?>>>

From my experience, I have already stated that YOUR FRIEND IS A GRAVE DANGER TO HIS FAMILY AND COMMUNITY. Please protect your interests and let the authorities know.

>>>Will he be arrested by American authorities?>>>

It depends on the state the crime was committed in. It depends on the age of victim s when reported. It depends on willingness of the victim to testify.

Regardless, both Canada and Israel have extradition treaties in regard to these types of crimes. Also, your friend needs MAJOR help.

>>>What should I advise him?>>>

Advise him TO TELL HIS WIFE EVERYTHING to allow her the decision how to proceed. Advise him to go to AA meetings, where hopefully a good sponsor will assist him to make amends and seek help he needs.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


12. Ha Karat Ha Tov     6/26/08 - 12:19 PM
yehudit - LA,Ca.

Dear Rabbi Horowitz, with tremendous grattitude for your open and honest position..its about being honest and genuinely wanting a healthy Klal..sometimes the medicine is bitter, but it is the antidote, none the less...

On a personal note, my whole practice of Yiddishkeit and my approach to parenting have been so positively affected by your Holy words and teachings....Thank you so much!!


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


13. re Lisa's advice     6/30/08 - 1:32 PM
Anonymous

If he was an abuser in the past, what makes you sure he’s not an abuser still?

Why are you willing to believe him about one thing but not about another?

>q>Learning self-help books or hearing rabbinic speeches doesn’t cure the illness.

illness?

Without intensive therapy, monitoring and awareness by his synagogue, and community, the community is being exposed to a nuclear weapon.

Who says any of that will "cure" him? Nevertheless, that is precisely what he wants, professional help. Yet instead of advising him about that, you went on to rip him apart.

2] This is a very convenient tool abusers frequently use, when the heat gets too hot in the kitchen. They beg for a sympathetic response from their community, claim they are horribly victimized, and unfit to accept justice for the crime perpetrated.

Would you say the same thing if he was nine or fifteen years old at the time when he abused (whatever that means, it doesn't tell us anything)? What if his own rebbi or counselor had molested him that year?

Get him the help he needs fast.

You call that help - telling everybody about what he's done?! You've made it clear that you don't care about him but about potential crimes he might commit. And again, HE WANTS PROFESSIONAL HELP.

By saying that he abused her, AGE doesn’t matter.

again, do you really regard a nine year old molester the same as a married man?

Apologies are not worth the paper it’s written on.

so what do you suggest he do, flagellate himself until his dying day? do YOU do that when you sin? The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva says you that must confess the sin, regret it, and resolve not to do it again. If it involves another person, you must make amends.

Again, you see the typical pattern of an abuser. They abuse, then apologize. Abuse again, and apologize profusely.

did I miss part of the story? where did it say he did it to her again? I didn't notice a pattern. Sounds like you're locked into a response which you rattle off no matter what anyone says.

I cannot fathom how she has “forgiven” her abuser and “moved on”

The issue here is the man, not the woman. The woman is not seeking our advice. Hard as it may be for you to believe, some people are able to move on which means that they don't dwell on a past painful episode of their lives. That doesn't mean they repress it necessarily. It means that they get on with their lives. Similar to Holocaust survivors who certainly did not forget their losses and horrific lives, but moved on, marrying, raising families, and serving G-d with joy. Certain people have an agenda of making people victims for life, convincing them that they can never heal, that they must ruined.

Therefore, it is not her who has to grant an apology, but her husband.

do you have a Torah source to back that up? a source that proves that the victim's relatives whether spouse, parents, children, friends, anybody indirectly affected by a crime, must be apologized to?

Advise him TO TELL HIS WIFE EVERYTHING to allow her the decision how to proceed.

Huh? First, he may have told her already. Second, if he hasn't, you are taking it upon yourself, having read a few lines in a comment, not having heard a word from the person in question, that he should tell his wife devastating information! And for what purpose? so she should make some sort of decision. Sounds utterly inane to me.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


14. Comments on comments     6/30/08 - 2:44 PM
Benzion Twerski

To Anonymous #13

I take issue with many of your comments. The saying goes, “Once a perpetrator, always a perpetrator.” One is reasonably skeptical about these rules of “always” or “never”. However, the research and vast clinical experience supports this notion. Much as an addict is never “recovered” but always “recovering”, the molester can get on with life in better shape than during the days of victimizing. However, any therapist will identify the tactic used almost universally by perpetrators of almost anything and claiming to be a victim. There actually may be a history of the molester having been a victim, and this may lend itself as a contributor to the problem, but it never absolves the individual from personal responsibility.

In reference to specific comments, if one would believe him about his past actions, why not believe him that he is “cured”? Simple answer: Because there is no known cure. Secondly, the molestation is bound to surface somewhere at some given point in time, and maintaining the secret may be futile. This does motivate some to share the information.

He wants intensive therapy. I bet he does. I would not rip him apart, but I would not absolve him of his responsibility either. To whatever degree his own history matters, that is restricted to the confines of his therapy. It has nothing to do with his legal status, the risk to the community, etc.

What if the molestation was committed when he was only 9 years old? I am not the expert in treating perpetrators, but I believe that the age difference matters most to the therapist, not the community. I would defer to the opinion of someone with this expertise.

What if his own rebbi or counselor had molested him that year? That would only manage to add another perpetrator to the list of those who need to be addressed. In halacha, if Reuven owes money to Shimon, and Shimon owes the same sum to Levi, Levi can claim it from Reuven (known as “shibuda d’Rav Noson”). This has no bearing whatsoever on commission of issurim where everyone has their own personal liability. It would be a mistake to refocus all the energy on the rebbi or counselor and away from this individual. Both should be handled appropriately.

Get him the help he needs fast. Absolutely. Keeping him away from other potential victims is part of the help. Can anyone picture a meeting of recovering alcoholics in the back room of a bar? That would be moronic. The most important aspect of treatment is taking whatever steps are possible to prevent recurrence or relapse. That is elementary.

Apologies are not worth the paper they’re on. This is very true. I do not believe in apologies at all for such situations. They are rarely effective for the victim, and the perpetrator usually rushes to give one long before there is any sincerity in it. I once asked a perpetrator to write an apology (not to deliver it). What I read horrified me. It spoke of the overwhelming guilt that he sought to assuage by asking for forgiveness, and he highlighted the need to re-establish a relationship where they could resume being close (this involved family). While this perp sounded sincere, he referred only to his own pain (which was real), and placed a burden on the victim to forgive him. This repeated the victimization, and he was redirected away from delivering it. His therapy had not progressed enough to allow this to be done. The perp needs to be able to convince the victim that relapse can never happen, and that is close to impossible.

I did not notice a pattern. Nope. And unless we allow the relapse to occur, you might not. Let us examine some of the dynamics behind molestation. The perpetrator has whatever underlying issues to contend with, and has chosen to manage this by inflicting his will on others to gain momentary gratification. At that time, there is zero interest in the pain of the victim – all is justified. There are issues of values and boundaries involved, and these are fundamental. The scenarios easily repeat themselves, and boundaries that have been breached are open for crossing again.

There was reference to the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuvah. Don’t go there. I’ve posted this many times, and repetition is necessary. The value of teshuvah is “bein odom laMokom”. The fact that the victim still feels fear or that the perp can relapse into familiar territory is not bound by “bein odom laMokom”. There is no rav or Beis Din that can pasken on someone who committed an aveiro that involved victimization based on “having done teshuvah”. No human being can evaluate teshuvah, so it remains a variable that never enters the picture.

The victim has moved on with her life. So what? This has zero relevance to the perpetrator. The scars are certainly there, and she is to be commended for having coped well, despite the emotional injuries.

Her husband needs to grant an apology. Why? How did he get involved here? It is true that the experience of molestation could have had a negative impact on her husband. But he needs to grant forgiveness or respond to an apology? Why and how?

He needs to tell his wife. I am not sure why this would need to be done. If the goal is to punish him, then there needs to be some form of Beis Din that reaches such a conclusion. I do not believe that would happen, and I’m not sure it should. Do we need to punish and make others victims of the perpetrator’s actions? Did his wife contribute to her husband’s molesting?


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


15.     6/30/08 - 5:04 PM
Anonymous

I took exception to Lisa's response because I found it ridiculous, for many reasons, not least of which, it did not respond to what the person wanted to know. One question was asked and that was: in seeking professional help, which he wants to do, does he need to fear being reported and arrested. That's it.

Our view on so-called illnesses and cures was not sought; our thoughts about the worth of apologies was not asked.

Hilchos Teshuva were cited in response to Lisa's assertion and of course I'll go there. This is about the perpetrator and not the victim. The victim did not ask us anything.

Andy in comment #10 gave the best response. He actually answered the person's question!

p.s. re: if one would believe him about his past actions, why not believe him that he is “cured”? Simple answer: Because there is no known cure.

Who asked us to believe that he was cured?! No one! Lisa took a simple question and based on the scanty information provided, she gave her "professional opinion." Doesn't sound professional at all to make assumptions and accusations and then provide dangerous advice.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


16. Reframe - don't be judgemental     7/1/08 - 12:27 AM
AK-ey

Anon, Nitpicking is not my style , but to make my point I share here your words

I took exception to Lisa's response because I found it ridiculous,

Andy in comment #10 gave the best response.

she gave her "professional opinion." Doesn't sound professional at all to make assumptions and accusations and then provide dangerous advice.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


17.     7/1/08 - 4:52 PM
Anonymous

Sorry, I don't get your point.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


18.     7/2/08 - 3:39 PM
Anonymous

Assuming it's true that an abuser can never be cured (and I'm not)then we would have to absolve abusers of ALL personal guilt as what they did was beyond their control.(In the blogworld there is no bigger villian then an accused abuser).If an abuser is reading this they could easily wrongly conclude "I can't change.If I seek help I'll be stabbed in the back and turned over to the authorities etc."To that abuser I have to say; Like everyone else - if you are looking to be a better person the blogesphere is usually not the right place for you.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


19. Lisa's reponse     7/2/08 - 11:35 PM
Sherree

To me Lisa's response sounds painful, as if she has somehow either been a victim herself or has been involved with a victim. The whole scenario she speaks of and the bringing in the husband and wife speaks of the ourtreaching harm this issue extends to in the lives of the victims. It really doesn't sound like she is talking about the particular issue in question at all, but that she is talking about something else she is privy to and using this as an opening to vent something that was on her chest. JMHO.

Obviously advise such as hers on such little information is way too aggressive and counterproductive, because it will bring in many new problems and issues into the situation.

Without knowing who the perpetrator is, or what the variables really are, if the man is truly doing a din v'chesbon on himself and truly has charota and wants to change he has to make serious choices in his life which involves as Dr. Twerski said, keeping himself away from environments and situations that are not healthy for him. He must stay away from potential victims and stay in extensive therapy to dscuss his activites and thoughts with a trained professional for many, many years to come to help guide him away from temptation. Cure is a premature and too simple a term. "Control" is probably a more acceptable description such as with recovering drug abusers and alcoholics. Its not impossible to recover but it is very hard and needs a lot of support, but you are never cured from these illnesses either.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


20.     7/6/08 - 9:49 PM
Lisa M.

Yes, I am a victim, and yes I help other victims overcome their challenges. It is a very painful topic to come to terms with. It is for this reason that I personally don’t believe that a married religious Jewish woman can simply “move on”. Please read the comment “Been There” on the article The Talk. The damage caused to marital relations, and family harmony is extensive. I admire and respect the Orthodox couples facing this challenge in marriage as they deal with the effects of abuse, coupled with the very strict laws of family purity, as explained to me by a Chabad rabbi.

I have been blamed for being overly punitive and harsh in my response, allow me to explain.

1] I have learnt this from my experience dealing with religious Jewish families in crisis. The underlying theme stated by the husband is, “I wanted her to become pregnant quickly, because no one would want a divorcee with children”. In other words, extorting the wife into staying faithful to him despite his severe shortcomings. It is therefore my professional belief that the wife be informed immediately; to allow her to avoid the pitfall her dear husband is deftly creating for her.

2] As you Sheree, and Dr. Twerski have pointed out there is no RECOVERY for abuse of this type, only avoidance of situations wherein the perpetrator is exposed to potential victims. By definition, having children is a situation wherein he is exposed to potential victims. You know, as well as I know that abuse of this type takes place in Orthodox homes as well.

3] If I recall correctly it is written in the Torah that if a person abuses a girl in this manner, he is fined by the court system. Since she was never compensated, nor her husband made aware of the situation shouldn’t restitution of some sort be expected? Why should she be expected to “move on”?

It would be appreciated if the religious community would show as much care and concern, love and admiration to the victims of these horrible crimes, as they do to the perpetrators.

Please come to terms with the fact, this fellow in question is DANGER, a RISK to his family and community. You have the obligation to protect your community.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


21. To Anon 7     7/7/08 - 10:04 PM
Anonymous

Nu, what did your friend decide? Does he have a support network to get through the situation?

Hopefully, all is well with him.

B'Hatzlacha


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


22. yes     7/24/08 - 3:57 PM
Anon 7

Yes he did.

Two comments to clarify. Just for the record, I verified that the abuse took place when all parties were children.

I am not foolish. I would trust my children on a "normal" level with this individual.

  Rate & Write a Comment!
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements