Breaking- Press Release From Dascalowitz Courtroom (3-25-11 9:05am)

Fri, March 25, 2011 8:52:27 AM

From:       Yakov Horowitz  To: Yerachmiel Lopin

I am attending the hearing of Meir Dascalowitz to support the child he allegedly molested, to support his family members who are helping protect the children of our community from future abuse by reporting the alleged pedophile to the authorities, and to stand in solidarity with all survivors of abuse and molestation. I have in my possession printed copies of more than 250 emails and blog posts from my readers worldwide who eloquently and passionately wrote messages of support, solidarity and love to this survivor and I will be handing the messages to the family members in court. 

It is my hope and prayer that this painful episode will mark a turning point in our community’s reaction to abuse survivors and provide a modicum of comfort to adult survivors who were abused in their childhood — when they lacked the support structure that current and future survivors will hopefully have. Throughout much of our history, our people have been an oppressed minority in countries where they were made to feel unwelcome at best, and where being reported to the authorities meant imprisonment, torture or even death. This cultural phenomenon has greatly contributed to the underreporting of child abusers in our community.

It is my hope and prayer, though, that all members of our community will develop the comfort level in this wonderful malchus shel chesed (benevolent country), to view the authorities who police and prosecute pedophiles to be our allies in our sacred obligation to keep our children safe and secure.     Time and experience have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that well-meaning, untrained people (like this writer) are powerless to protect children. Our sages (Avos 3:4) wisely stated that we must pray for the stability of our government for, “If not for the fear it holds over its citizens [who commit crimes], a person would swallow his neighbor.”

It is my hope and prayer that all members of our community will come to understand that according to Jewish law a child molester has the Halachic status of a rodef (one who poses a credible, life-threatening danger to others) and one is obligated to do everything in his or her power to prevent a predator from harming future victims. Rabbinic responsa, including a psak(rabbinic ruling) from the esteemed Rabbi Eliyashuv, perhaps the preeminent posek of our generation, have supported this notion.  Reporting molesters to the authorities exposes the silent, overwhelming majority of law-abiding, camera-shy members of our community to public shame when people who are dressed in the garb of observant Jews are arrested, prosecuted and are prominently featured in media coverage on charges of abuse and molestation.

It is my hope and prayer, though, that we all come to understand that there is no “shanda” (shame) in admitting that we have the same problems that plague all members of the human race. Rather, that it is a terrible and tragic “shanda” to not do everything in our power to rid our communities of pedophiles.

Rabbi Yakov HorowitzDean,

Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey

Director, Project YES


10 thoughts on “Breaking- Press Release From Dascalowitz Courtroom (3-25-11 9:05am)

  1. I am quite shocked and surprised about this turn of events. It is about time RH that you came out publicly and agreed with what Asher has been saying for years.

    • There’s no “turn of events”. Rabbi Horowitz has been consistent with his approach to child molesters, that they are “rodfim” that need to be turned over to the authorities. On this point, we are all in total agreement. However, it was his opposition to the Markey Bill that turned many advocates and survivors against him.

  2. This one is real – he should have gone away a long time ago. I believe weberman and weingarten are both innocent tzaddikim, but this creep Dascalowitz does not belong free. He is a ganev also. I hope he goes away for a long time. I dont know why he wasnt arrested after the incident in machneh kayitz. They threw him out of the camp where he was a counselor but never reported it. A lot of kids saw what he did. It was shiva asar btamuz so the rest of us counselors were away that day. I was so angry that they didnt call the cops. I remember I saw him at a tish in bp and I ran away from that tumah.

    • Believe me I have spoken to enough people who know the same sorts of things about Weberman and Weingarten. I understand you may not know these things but how can you be so sure they are tzadikim.

    • Since you know of an episode you know Dascalowitz is guilty. Does it therefore follow that if you don’t know of an episode Weberman and Weingarten are innocent? Isn’t it possible that things happened that you did not know about. That is where the courts come in. In Weingarten’s case they had a lot of evidence. In Weberman’s case the DA prepared a strong enough indictment and we will either find out at trial or we will know when he pleads guilty (which he will only do if he is convinced he has no chance of getting an acquittal at trial).

      As for the tzidkus business, there are too many fakers out there. As the Satmar Rebbe, Yoelish, said “In America it is hard to be frum but everyone has already figured out how to be frummer than the next person.” Reb Yoelish was an astute judge of his own hasidim.

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