Weekly Roundup (11/14/09)

Most postings in FrumFollies are triggered by something I read. I don’t have time to convert most of these web sightings into articles. So I will start sharing them through weekly roundups.

Giving Voice to the Victims of Child Molesting. Joel Engelman was included in the Forward’s annual list of America’s 50 most influential Jews. Jane Eisner writes:

it’s not . . .  spiritual and communal leaders who are leading the charge to protect the most vulnerable. Instead, a small but determined group of sexual abuse survivors have dragged the issue from the shadows into the light, often at great personal cost. Joel Engelman, 24, is one such survivor.

To understand the importance of listening to survivors check out this mp3 of an evening devoted to the testimony of five survivors. It runs over 2 hours and will probably keep you riveted. The recording was first posted by theUnorthodoxJew and FailedMessiah right after Yom Kippur.  Listening to it moved me to start my blog before Sukkot.  Kudos to Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman of Congregation Ahavas Israel of Passaic for hosting the event and being a frum communal leader who is genuinely addressing the problem. A recent writeup of this event by the Jewish Week, continues their string of important stories about child molesting. Email them to thank them for their coverage.

Molesting Leads to Another Suicide. The continuing tragedy of child molesting led to the suicide of a Motty Borger, a groom on his second day of married life. Matzav has posted a recorded message by Motty’s father which I am posting here. It completely evades the issue of  suicide let alone molestation and asks people to get along and end any fights and grudges they may have carried. I suppose that could be his way of forgive and forget about molesting. My heart goes out to his family and bride. But I don’t think any of them will be well served by granting unearned forgiveness. Instead we need a genuine purge of the molesters. If forgiveness is needed it should consist of all those who covered up molesting going to Motty’s grave and begging his forgiveness in front of a minyan. This is our tradition when we sin against someone and they are no longer alive. But true repentance requires assuring the sin won’t happen again.

Rubashkin is Convicted. At last the trial of Shalom Rubashkin is over. He has been found guilty of 89 charges of bank fraud, making false statements to a bank, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, aiding of abetting, and being late in payments to cattle sellers. This story has been exhaustively uncovered and followed by Shmarya Rosenberg on his website Failed Messiah.  Failed Messiah regularly covers the full array of ultra orthodox shenanigans and posts the various sources in full.

The Elyashiv Elevator Ban Went Up and Back Down. After banning Shabbat elevators, Rabbi Elyashiv backed down when other rabbis pointed out that they could be sued for approving apartment purchases in tall buildings. (see the last sentence in the article).

Marek Edelman Z’L, Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion Died at Age 90 in Poland. You may not know his name because he was a Bundist who stayed in Poland. When the first leader of the rebellion, Mordechaj Anielewicz, committed suicide, he took the reins and held them till further action was impossible. Read this obituary in the Economist and this  appreciation by Moshe Arens in Haaretz. I especially recommend his long, very informative account of the rebellion. Instead of cliches and propaganda  you will get history. It will give you a better understanding of the  heroism and wisdom that coexisted with terrible failures of leadership. Marek, rest in peace.

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