Munkatcher Rebbe Denounces Reporting Molesters to the Police

The Munkatcher Rebbe (Moshe Leib Rabinovich), speaking yesterday on the yarzeit of his grandfather, the Minchas Elazar, denounced those who commit mesirah (informing) and even have the chutzpah to think it is a mitzvah. He declared it one of the major problems facing Jews in America.

I have no recordings of this speech. Not surprisingly these are the sort of speeches given on shabbos so there won’t be any recordings. I have a reliable report from someone who was there and heard it.

The Munkatcher Rebbe had the reporting of molesters in mind. He was speaking to a crowd of Hasidim. Mesirah is a big no-no unless it is overridden by the rule allowing self-defense against someone bent on homicide (rodef). Recently poskim have been allowing reporting a molester to the police because molesters tend to repeat their acts and their actions result in terrible harm to their victims and are thus considered rodfim. Flatbush’s Shomrim recently urged adults to report child abuse directly to the police.

I am guessing he spoke about this now because one of the weekday regulars in his beis medrish, Baruch Lebovits, just started serving a 10-32 year sentence for molesting a boy. The trial revealed an attempt to intimidate the witness by brandishing the prohibition of mesirah. The father of the witness against Lebovits was manhandled and forced out of the Munkatch beis medrish.

The Rebbe is active in pidyon shvuyim. These days that often means deterring complainants within the frum world , trying to put the fix in with the police and the prosecutors, and collecting money for legal defense funds.

I find the speech encouraging. Rabbi Rabinovich made this speech because more hasidim are reporting molesters to the police. The Rebbe is wrong, unconscionably wrong. He shows a deficit of rachmonis for the victims of molesters. His position gives them free rein. In time his views will be eclipsed. But the Munkatcher Rebbe’s speech gives you an idea of what we are up against.

Streimel Tip: A

Update 2-1-2011: Since I posted I found this article about his work organizing other hasisdic rebbes against mesirah back on April 24, 2001.

If you liked this post you might also like:

My Questions About the Mitzvah of Redeeming a Captive (Pidyon Shvuyim) on 05/13/2010

ChaptzemNisht Rebbe’s Chanukah Message on Lashon Horah Mehudar (Satire) on 12/10/2009

Rebbe Inflation and Moral Deflation: The New Rules Of Inheritance on 11/19/2009


49 thoughts on “Munkatcher Rebbe Denounces Reporting Molesters to the Police

  1. The Munkaczer is a molester protector and enabler. Wolf in a Wolf’s clothing. & Has Freudian patricide issues. No wonder with all his buildings (???) he is a loser.

  2. i wonder if he realizes that the catholic church was exposed for the covering up of child molestation. perhaps he thinks that the odox community will somehow be immune to the consequences of not reporting crimes of this magnitude.

    • Absolutely, Everyone please go to the website – with 2-3 clicks you’re done, and your vote really really is needed.

  3. Sigh..the shtettle mentality at it’s best. Well, I’m not Munkatch, I’m Jewish. HaKadosh Baruch Hu gave me a brain to use and with it came common sense. Unlike people like the good Rav Rabinovich. I’ll use my common sense when it comes to cases like this.

  4. He’s obviously torn between two conflicting points of view. Just as his hassidim are torn between the munkaczer rebbe in Brooklyn and the other munkaczer rebbe in Israel. Personally, I’m waiting for the new, improved and less expensive munkaczer from China to hit the market!

  5. This is no surprise. Lupin, when are you finally going to get it through your thick Homo Neanderthalensis skull that the evil is not within the Rebbe. It is inherent to askanasty Judaism. I eagerly await your true tshuva and conversion to the Torah true mesorah. Become Sefardi and abandon the degenerate shtetl culture and practices that create predators who savage the innocent. Children, wannabe converts, stock markets, women at the wall- none are safe from the predation of the askanasty.

    • Jay,

      Last I checked there are also some pretty wacko Sefardim out there. Shabtai Tzvi was Sefardi Tahor and sang a mean Ladino song. The Dweck affair in Deal,NJ was a Sephardi story with some of the same attitudes about mesirah.

      Have any Sephardi groups echoed the position of the Flatbush Shomrim and said, “go straight to the police anytime you encounter child abuse?”

      There are plenty of good guys and bad guys on both sides of the Ashkenazi/Sephardi divide.

      I will concede culinary superiority to Sefardim but not moral superiority.

    • Jay,
      A number of years ago a whole lot of Sefarady woman from Flatbush were sleeping with a Tennis Pro and it was covered up by the community, so don’t sell me no BS.

  6. R’ Sonnenfeld z”l removed a melamed from a Yerushalayim yeshiva because he was simply an ineffective teacher. When askanim pleaded that this individual had a large family to feed RS replied “So what should we do? Feed him more children?” This is an anecdote straight out of Ish al Ha-Chomos- regarding just a bad teacher mind you. Can you learn a kal v’ chomer from this? Does the Munkaczer read Art Scroll?

  7. Munkatcher got off years ago without doing time in federal lock-up by the skin of his teeth. He is knee deep in the Lebowitz affair, penis deep in the Chazan Lipschutz affair (there, I said it. I know one of the boys he sodomized during voice lessons) and neck high in funneling more clients to Lebowitz’s attorney Aidala. It is his own trauma of being a day away from the clincker that has distorted reality to him. He will help any jew in trouble with the lae regardless of what he did. Wrong wrong wrong.

    • The way the munkather makes money is refering criminals to his aterneys so they give him commission everything he does is only for money money and fame .

  8. Munkatch closed his boy’s high school and beis medrash for bochurim about 2 years ago. It seems it was very unsuccessful, whatever that means in the chassidic world (wasn’t extorting enough money?).

    From what I know he is somewhat of a Looser. He’s just following the money (Leibovits) to keep his business afloat.

    Being A Rebbe = Running A For-Profit Business.

    Charismatic Rebbes get the fringe benefits of lots of kavod and power and the making of a family business for generations.

    They also get to roll over in their graves when their decendants squabble in secular courts over the rights to be Rebbe (i.e., to own the ancestor’s business in the name of holiness).

    Munkatch is just a failing business.

  9. After BML was arrested , after everyone in the area & shul knew of his molestations and 30 years of AC gambling and znus, The Munkaczer sat him on the dais.

    What a message to our young people! He has never made it either as a Rebbe or as a Yeshiva, because amchu yisroel has a good ‘shmek’ and knows who is real and who is a phoney.

  10. Let’s ask a big ?;???
    The case against lebowitz the star molester who sits in Munkatz for over 20 years best freand with rabbi Moshe lieb the munkather rabbi himself who they call the rabbi of the criminals in courts
    ” never helped lebowitz the two years the case is going on ???????;? ”
    The answer is lebowitz alegd molested is grandchildren he wanted to see him locked up
    But did not want for the sake of his fame and his family it should come public now it leaked out he took the other way ”
    He is just a phony who ever knows him from near
    He’s only intrest is money money & fame for himself does not give it to his own people and schools

    • Rumor has it that the Munkatcher Rebbe gave Baruch Lebovits some good advice: plead guilty. Sounds like he knew perfectly well who he was dealing with. But the culture of protecting pedophiles like BML has left them bold and full of chutzpah. If Lebovits insists on taking his other two cases to trial who add a new twist to biz a hundred und tzwantzig.

  11. mechl:

    You wrote: “no erlicher rov (who grew up (or even was just born) in europe) would condone mesira of any sort whatsoever”

    I assume that you would regard Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky, z”l, as an ericher rov. Please read the story below.
    Footnote 6 states:
    “Endangering the community is not limited to cases of communal punishment, or immediate short term danger. Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein notes the following incident recounted to him by Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetsky, in the name of Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky.
    “There was a period in the 1970’s when a group of rogues were smuggling valuables in tefillin (phylacteries) and other religious articles that would usually evade inspection; thus the thieves assumed their scheme would be successful. Often they would send these religious articles with unsuspecting pious Jews and asked to deliver them to certain locations near their final destinations. When United States customs officials got wind of this scheme they asked a few observant agents to help crack the ring. In addition to preserving the sanctity of the religious items, the customs authority felt that Jewish religious agents would best be able to mete out knowing accomplices from unsuspecting participants who had been duped into thinking they were actually performing a mitzvah.
    “The Jewish custom agent in charge of the operation decided to confer with my grandfather, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky on this matter. Though his advice on how to break the ring remains confidential, he told me how he explained how the severity of the crime was compounded by its use of religious items. “Smuggling diamonds in Teffilin,” he explained, “is equivalent to raising a white flag, approaching the enemy lines as if to surrender and then lobbing a grenade. That soldier has not only perpetrated a fraud on his battalion and the enemy; he has betrayed a symbol of civilization. With one devious act, he has destroyed a trusted symbol for eternity — forever endangering the lives of countless soldiers for years to come. “These thieves, by taking a sacrosanct symbol and using it as a vehicle for a crime have destroyed the eternal sanctity and symbolism of a sacred object. Their evil actions may cause irreparable damage to countless honest religious people. Those rogues must be stopped, by any means possible,” he exclaimed.”

  12. When the munkatser took his father Rabbi Burach z”l to court in isreal to take away from him the real estate the munchas eluzer had in isreal that wasn’t ” Masira ” ????? Becouse this is his $$$$
    A shame how dear does he speak the name of the munchas eluzer
    Just a hippecret

    • Yankel you are on the money! Knew him and dad hated each other (allegedly for him marrying the nanny after the war when dghtr of ME died) but did not know he went to the tziyonim court to get money. Din Torah anyone? No wonder young people are so cynical these days. Imagine ML Rabinovich dies and …. (cue the music please).. who takes over …. OY VEY

      • It seems for some people the mitzvah of kibbush haaretz consists of arcaos to secure real estate.

        Have we gone from dressing like a Polish Lord to focusing on being a landlord.

  13. Your comment is not only stupid, but it is also rude and false.

    Molesters try to continue what they do without getting caught. One of their strategies is to seek those that are more vulnerable. That, by no means, pronounces failure as parents for victims, and the ignorance that leads you to that conclusion is probably not treatable.

    I have personal contact with a great many victims, and their parents are perfectly okay – contradicting your premise.

    As for the mesira issue, the American versus European background is irrelevant. I have personal contact with rabbonim of both backgrounds who are on either side of the issue.

    I am most repulsed by your statement “a kid with a good chinuch does not get molested”. It is blatantly untrue, and you should be ashamed at yourself for writing it. Let us try on the following statement, see if it fits.

    Rav Dov Schwartzman (SIL of Rav Aharon Kotler ZT”L) was one of the greatest geniuses known to this generation. He is now reportedly suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Would you suggest that someone who is a true Torah scholar could never get Alzheimers? Your statement is equally as stupid. אוי לאותה בושה.

  14. Why did Mendel titelboum become a molester he has a great parent Aron titelboum grand rabbi of satmar ???

    Why did the grandchildren of munkather get molested ??

    Why did Berrel asjkamazi become a molester. His parents are nice rabbis ???
    Why does Aron titelboum speak about nice girls. And. Sit at the mikva near the showers
    I Gus his father grand rabbi Moshe titelboum had the same sin ????
    The list goes on and on and on .

  15. Mechl, besides being a defender of perverts you are an am haaretz. In the classic definition of the mishnah you can not be trusted to make distinctions about what to set aside and when. Almost all your statements are demai if not outright sacrilege.

    No one permits mesirah. Rabbonim have long determined that there is no mesirah prohibition for a rodef. GOT IT! This was established halachah before the first posek landed in America. The only question is applying it to sexual abuse. When R. Akiva Eger observed what could be accomplished educating the deaf he used that knowledge in his thinking about the relevant halachos. The understanding of the damage caused by molesting is now an established aspect of halachah. There is also an understanding of the difficulty of stopping a serial molester. At this point it is established halachah that a currently active serial molester is a rodef. Thus, reporting him to the authorities is a mitzvah of lo taamod al dam reachah. The gray areas in current halachic thinking are about what constitutes sufficient indications of the actual occurrence of molesting and how to evaluate molesting which occurred a long time ago in terms of the likelihood of its being repeated.

    Instead of reasoning from menus in burger joints and pizza parlors you should read the current issue of the halachic journal Jeshurun. If you want the fast food version read the postings on the blog Dass Torah by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, who seems to be a chosid of R. Moshe Sterbuch of the Eida HaChareidis.

    Some of these molesters did things to kids as young as three or five. There is such a thing as molesters misusing their power and status.

    Believe it or not, the children and grandchildren of some of the sheiynste yiden are among those who were molested. Yes, the disease is so widespread that even the children of Rebbes with schwartze or veise zoken have been molested.

    The real scandal is that people are more worried about yichus and reputation so they also, or they especially, do not got to the police. In this manner some of the people with the best reputations are responsible for the molestation of other kids.

    It is true that sometimes those who go to the police are OTD. Not because they are to be blamed for being molested. In fact sometimes it works the other way, they went OTD because they couldn’t reconcile their abandonment to molesting by a community which aspires to be an am kadosh. However, once they are OTD they are less worried about social disapproval and shidduch pressure.

    Molesters love to pick on the kids with problems and the kids from families with problems. It is very convenient for warding off the accusations. Unfortunately many in the community have forgotten how often the torah insists that we be especially protective of the weak. Sadly orphans are very popular with molesters. They know they can count on defenders like you, mechl.

    I can tolerate much of your foolishness. I find it useful to our debates to have comments from people like you. But I do not forgive the deliberate cruelty of naming victims as a way of intimidating them. Much as I like having your comments around, I will start having my automatic spam filters delete all your comments if you do not stop using victim names.

  16. Lupin, you’re grasping at straws. The few Sefardi losers you mention are legitimate and significant points to be sure. However they are irrelevant when considering the number of Ashcanazzy fiends who thrive under the umbrella of Lithuanian and Russo-Polish Judaism in our times. Move out of the dark side, Lupin, come into the light!

  17. If its true what mechel says
    Why are two of burach lebowitz kids Sharagi & mair molesters they are nice looking family from the outside
    Why is Mr Unger ms lebowitz brother a known molester and why is her sister who lives in Boro Park a known prostetute

  18. Mechl,
    If I remember correctly, the big rebbe R’ Mechele Lebovits used to fir tish
    with pizza. Wasn’t that one of the reasons the Beirech Moshe gave for destroying him?

  19. Why did everybody stop talking about the Kosover Rebbe, Sharage Hager? He is one of the biggest pedophile protectors.

  20. Doresh, I don’t hate Ashkenazim. I simply enjoy giving back a little of the derision to which they subject Sefardim all the time.

    • Jay,
      I love Sefaradim, especially their nosach hatefillah, but that does not mean I want to become Sefarady.

  21. it is a well known fact that the the munkacher shull and mikvah is the headquarters of all the perverts and molestors in boro-park,that shull and mikvah should be closed up immediately

  22. Someone who prays in munkatch told me that on shavous before the AKDUMEES the munkatche rebbe gave a speech anx he was yelling that there are MOSRIM (informers) between us and he is sure that the TOREH will be NOKEM in them (revenge)

    • Whom. Did he address his 10-15 peoples in the large emty synagogue ??
      Did he make the phony cry ( as. This really bothers him ) ??
      He is just the joke of town trys sometimes to get attention
      But after 50 years doing this shtick nobody looks at him anymore

      • On Shabbos Beis Sivan, he had a nice oiben un they called all the Rabonin and sheine yiden and begged them to come.

  23. It amazes me how Mr. Lopin can make a matter-of-fact statement that the Munkatcher Rebbe was reffering specifically to mesira of molesters as opposed to any type of mesira and as a result turns this blog into a Munkatch-bashing forum. If you want to bash the Rebbe, just say so without distorting facts and putting words into his mouth. The Munkatcher Rebbe has on countless occassions made public statements (on tape, on the record) against any type of mesira which is forbidden by the Torah and by Rabbonim throughout the ages (albeit there are machlokes between poskim as to what constitutes mesira). To arrive to your own conlusions and have all this filth and lies and fact-distortion is shamefull.

    • Chutzpaniak,

      I am mystified about your claim that the Munkatcher Rebbe may have been talking about mesirah regarding financial matters. He spoke of those who claim the mesirah is a mitzvah. I do not know of any shitah that holds that mesirah on financial matters is a mitzvah. His words were deliberately vague. For all of his pretensions of kanois in the mold of his grandfather he is not a forthright man and thus keeps his words vague.

      I won’t waste me time trying to get a clarification from him. He does not want to clear. He just wants to inflame the oylam against those doing the difficult work of helping to rid the community of molesters.

  24. Looks like the munkather rabbi is bothering the
    ” Masira ” on molesters Becouse he still wants to stay with a ” Minyn ” ( ten people ) !!!

  25. Mr. Lopin wrote:

    “He just wants to inflame the oylam against those doing the difficult work of helping to rid the community of molesters.”

    You mean he wants to remind the oylam that we have a Torah which we recieved at Sinai and we shall only follow what the Torah teaches us and not what the Lopins, Rosenbergs and other “vigilante activists” teach us.

    • chutzpaniak,

      I am tempted to think that you are, either Berel Ashkenazi or Friedman the photographer. I will repeat, why don’t he expel Steinberg the Moser?

      CALL Nuchem Rosenberg’s HOTLINE: 712 432-8788
      For Yiddish key in 11211#
      For English key in 11206#

  26. I love Munkatch Chassidim, but ever since the end of the war real Munkatch chassidim no longer really exist, not the way it was anyway. Rabbi Spira’s anti-Zionist views would have changed a LOT if he would have lived to 1945, and we can clearly see that his actual successor DID change his views, becoming more religious zionist after the war, and eventually giving up the mantle altogether I believe.

    I don’t know why this man now is the Munkatcher Rebbe? It is very strange and seems somewhat unconscionable not to report molesters, maybe someone reported the rebbe’s words incorrectly or maybe his words were in reference to mesirah in general?

  27. I love Munkatch Chassidim, but ever since the end of the war real Munkatch chassidim no longer really exist, not the way it was anyway. Rabbi Spira’s anti-Zionist views would have changed a LOT if he would have lived to 1945, and we can clearly see that his actual successor DID change his views, becoming more religious zionist after the war, and eventually giving up the mantle altogether I believe.

    I don’t know why this man now is the Munkatcher Rebbe? It is very strange and seems somewhat unconscionable not to report molesters, maybe someone reported the rebbe’s words incorrectly or maybe his words were in reference to mesirah in general?

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