Munkatcher Rebbe Opposes Reporting Molesters to Police

The Munkatcher Rebbe (R. Moshe Leib Rabinovich) continued his war on mesirah (snitching) during his drashah (sermon) for akdamos on shavuos when he decried the presence of mosrim (snitches) in the community. He said hashem (G-da) will nokem (take revenge on) them and they will come to no good end. He made it clear he was not claiming ruach hakodosh (divine inspiration) but just saying what is in the Torah.

On the previous Shabbos afternoon, parshas bamidbar, on the yarzeit of his grandfather, the Minchas Elazar, he 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.

He was probably talking about the witness against Boruch Lebovits who was recently sentenced to 10-32 years for molesting a teenager he picked up in the Munkatch beis medresh (synagogue). After the trial the father of the witness was harassed when he tried to daven (pray) at Munkatch. His tallis (prayer shawl) was pulled off and he was pushed out of the shul (synagogue).

The Munkatcher Rav’s position about a serial molester like Lebovits stands in sharp contrast to leading chareidi poskim (ultra-orthodox Jewish law decisors) such as Rav Elyashiv, Rav Moshe Sternbuch and Rav Moshe Halberstam zatzal who have all ruled that a serial molester who cannot be stopped from repeating his acts is a rodef (dangerous pursuer) Accordingly one should turn them in to the police to protect others from harm. The two most recent issues of Yeschurun, the quarterly halachah journal, were devoted to this issue and included many articles taking this position. A number of these articles were summarized in the Daas Torah blog of Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn of Har Nof. Only the Ungvarer Rav, R Menashe Klein, has argued differently.

Sadly, when parents approach poskim about going to the police they are often discouraged. The issue is usually not halachah. Instead parents are discouraged on the grounds that it will hurt shidduchim. If the parent persists they get a heter but they are told not to quote the source of the psak.

It is a scandal that at a time when we need to confront the mageyfah of child molesting more rabbonim are not openly supporting those families with the courage to pursue prosecution of molesters. These few families have taken on the burden of protecting all of our children. We owe them a yasher koach, not insults or tepid tolerance.

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.

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13 thoughts on “Munkatcher Rebbe Opposes Reporting Molesters to Police

  1. The hippocrate is talking !!!!
    He is the first” Muser ” after world war 2 he dragged his father who was the son and law of the muchas eluzer to a court to take away his inheritance $$$$
    Real estates and took away his name calling himself the ” munkather Rav ” when his father was still Alive

    • Nusi.
      For your information, Moshe Leib did not take away his fathers’ name, Burich gave it up voluntarily, lived for a while in Brazil as well as in The Bronx where he was walking his doggie daily. To Burich’s credit it must be said that he is not a hipocrite, however the son portrays himself as a tzadik, dabbles in pidyon shvuyim, but takes it a little too far by protecting pedophiles. If you really want to know what he is, look at the majority of his congregants, not the most devout, to say it mildly. And yes it just came to mind, he harbors Steinberg in his Shul although he is a moser and holech bearko’os (ask anybody associated with Wiznitz Talmud Torah – 53rd & 18th), reason? He knows too much and can masser him too.

      • On Rav Burach’s grave stone in the Patech Tikvah cementary (matzavha) is written.” Admor of Munkatz ”
        This means he never gave it up !!!

  2. Here’s my reply, god does nothing sees nothing and hears nothing. you want something done go and do it. take it in your own hands and keep these monsters away from our children. it means nothing to say that god will take care of it, like he did with our 6 million brothers and sisters in germany and poland.who did he save a handful, is this saving? is this a miracle? NO

    • Lee Spaner.

      I am not answering you, as you are an apikoros, and King Solomon says in Proverbs “Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness”.However for others so they not fall in to the sin of heresy, I will just tell a little story.

      After WWII, the Chief Rabbi in the Bergen Belsen DP Camp, was Rabbi Hirsch Meisels Weitzener Rov. One day as he was sitting in office with 2 other rabbis (one of them was Rabbi Shlomo Baumgarten of London), a bareheaded person walked in with his girl friend and asked for a note attesting to the fact that they are husband and wife who were reunited after the war (without which the British Camp Administration would not assign them family living quarters ).

      Now the standard procedure in such cases was to interrogate them separately to ascertain that they are indeed married from before the war. As you can imagine they were caught lying and were denied the note. All of a sudden the fellow pulls out a large knife and threatens to kill the Rabbis, so the 2 closest to the window jumped out but Rabbi Meisels was trapped.

      What does a Yid do? He tries to talk his way out of the situation, so he tells tells the guy, “aren’t you ashamed to walk in to a Rabbis office bareheaded?”

      So this fellow yells back “Hitler didn’t check if you are wearing a yarmulke or not.”

      The Rabbi said, “Interesting that the frum yungeleit, almost all of them did not find their wives, but they all found their yarmulkas. But you heretics, non of you found their yarmulkas but conveniently found your wives.

  3. Yerachmiel:

    I note that in the third paragraph of your post you write that the Munkatcher Rebbe was “probably” referring to the mosrim of Lebowitz when he publicly decried mosrim. In the following paragraph you state that the “position” of the Munkatcher Rebbe is that it is prohibited to be moser on an alleged child molester (although the Munkatcher Rebbe never actually stated that).

    How did you jump from your assumption (that the Rebbe was “probably” referring to the Lebowitz mosrim) to stating that in fact the Rebbe’s position is that it is assur to be moser on a child molester?

    In sharp contrast to the other Rabbonim you reference, they have publicly rendered a p’sak specifically regarding the circumstances of being moser on a child molester whereas the Munkatcher Rebbe has not. If you want a clear p’sak from the Munkatcher Rebbe go to him and ask him the question, either in person or in writing. But you cannot state his position on a particular subject when he himself has not made it known.

    I welcome your response.

    • Zei nisht a naar. Should lopin worry about gumul haporeiach biavir. There is no chance that the Munkacser was talking about another one. Everyone in BP knows about it.

      If I were Lopin I would not even ask directly because it would make lopin look stupid.

      Of course, while we wait for the moshiach we can wait for the Munkacser to reopen his mesivta, give away his real estate, and come out clearly that a molester who will mistamah do it again is a rodef and gazinterheit, shick im tzi di polizei.

      If this happens before the moshiach comes it will be big news in BP and I am sure Yerachmiel will write about it.

      Sammy, maybe you want to ask the rebbe the question?

  4. Never mind what the Moonchaser/Mooncatcher/Moonraker/Muckraker/Nutcracker or whatever he calls himself says. These idiotic pronouncements by the Zaken Mamrehs of our generation will soon be exposed for what they are and they will be widely ignored. People are finally waking up to see that these Emperors have no clothes as well as no seichel.

  5. BTW, word on the street is that the Rebbe was reffering to Y.K. for mesira on a financial related issue that is well known to most people who work in Mosdos Hatorah in New York… But this is also just speculation as the Rebbe did not mention an individual or offer a hint as to what type of mesira he was talking about.

  6. the מנחת אלעזר rites in his צוואה ,
    על כסאי לא יישב זר
    so their is no muncatcher ruuf

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