She was a bad girl. Was it because she talked to boys, or she was dressing too fashionably, or she asked too many questions? That didn’t matter. She was bad and the vaad hatznius (modesty committee) of Williamsburg was willing to fix her, for a hefty fee, of course. The alternative was being stuck with a reputation as a nebbish (loser), an oiysvorf (outcast), and a shiksa (gentile). Once you you acquired that reputation no decent family would let you marry their son.
Her family’s last hope was a “torah therapist” who could change her into a good girl. She didn’t know what to expect. But she assumed he would counsel her with words of torah. He would be a rabbi with a reputation for being zealous about torah and tznius (modesty). That of course meant he would scrupulously observe all the halachos (rules) and minhagim (customs) governing relations between men and women. She was only twelve, just a bat mitzvah, and thus liable for violating any of the halachos applying to a grown woman.
She knew the rules. Din yichud, the rule of seclusion, prohibits an unrelated man and woman from being alone in a closed room. She grew up with those rules. She knew how to avoid violations of yichud. You had to leave a door open if it didn’t have a window. A full door would only be closed if you both knew that someone else could pass through the room unannounced. Then there was tznius, the covering of one’s body from neckline to elbow to below the knee. There was also negiah, the rule against contact with the other sex. On the streets she saw gentile men and women touching each other. But Hasidim didn’t do that. Hasidim even avoided casusally talking with the opposite sex. Hasidim were tznuah, shomerei negiah and medakdek (particularly careful) about yichud.
She was driven to an apartment building on Classon Avenue. She went into a small apartment with just a living room/dining room and a small bedroom off to the side. The torah therapy was going to happen in the bedroom. It had a bed, some chairs and a video player. Then the door was closed. It was just her and the “torah therapist” in a closed room.
I am trying to imagine the shock. She probably wanted to be somewhere else. She was probably scared. She was probably anxious, very anxious. She knew this was her last chance to avoid being thrown out of school. She couldn’t complain and she couldn’t argue. She had no one to back her and only the torah therapist in front of her.
I wonder if she asked herself, “Is this my punishment for being a bad girl? Did they send me to this closed room because bad girls aren’t protected by din yichud? Can vaad hatznius (modesty committee) rabbis do anything they want with bad girls?
They abandoned her the moment the door closed. Even if nothing else happened during that first visit she now knew she wasn’t going to be protected by din yichud. She was on her own against someone who made his own rules, someone who could fix her reputation or destroy it.
In a different world all these girls would have known the cardinal rule: “If he makes me uncomfortable, get away, call for help, and tell my parents.” Perhaps a few complained and no one listened to them. Maybe they didn’t listen because they feared the vaad or were being paid by the vaad. Perhaps, others were so prejudiced against these girls that they ignored their complaints. Perhaps, most frightening of all, these girls just surrendered. Weberman had them where he wanted them and he proceeded to shred the shulchan aruch (the Code of Jewish law) as he violated their innocence.
When Weberman got arrested his defenders started screaming pidyon shvuyim (redeem the captive), 20 rabbis signed a call on his behalf and organized a big fundraiser for him. But he is not the captive, it was those girls who were captured. They were the ones who should have been rescued.
When Shechem raped Dinah, her brothers, Shimon and Levy, took their revenge and massacred a whole city. When Yaakov Avinu (our patriarch, Jacob) reproached them, they replied (Bereshis/Genesis 34:31), “הַכְזוֹנָה, יַעֲשֶׂה אֶת-אֲחוֹתֵנוּ, Will our sister be turned into a whore?” This is the answer you expect from tznius kanoim (modesty zealots).
That wasn’t the answer in Williamsburg because Weberman had friends in high places. Weberman was the molester but the girls were pimped to him by Satmar and Pupa’s girls schools and the Williamsburg vaad hatznius. They sold these Jewish girls into znus (sexual misconduct). I believe they did it for their share of his exorbitant “torah therapy” fee of $150
$250 a session. Otherwise, I cannot fathom how they could send girls to an apartment without asking more questions. But bribes blind the eyes of judges and money quiets a questioning heart and a troubled conscience.
Some will argue that I am unfair. Perhaps they did not know the details. Perhaps Weberman misled them into believing everything was proper. If so, when they discovered how he betrayed them, they should have shifted gears into vaad style violence against Weberman and his confederates. There should have posted pashkavilim naming him and declaring tzei tamei (go away you impure one!). They should have pressed Weberman to return all his ill-gotten gains. Someone should have asked haratzachtah v’gam yirashtah (will you murder and also inherit)? Will you have the chutzpah to get paid for sexually assaulting girls?
Instead I suspect that the Vaad, Bais Rochel, Niederman and others are sitting on their share of the extortion. In their determination to protect themselves they have become active participants in the absurd pidyon shvuyim campaign to pay for Weberman’s lawyers. After all, if he pleads guilty he might start bargaining for a shorter sentence by telling the truth about his confederates in crime.
Weberman is not a captive who needs redeeming; he is a cunning animal who should be caged. His defenders aren’t interested in redeeming a captive; they are desperate to protect their own reputations and rackets.
The captives were the girls led into his bedroom. Goyim didn’t capture those girls, Jews sent them there. Goyim didn’t violate those girls. It was a vaad hatznius kanoi that abused and violated them for months and years. Yet nobody in Satmar’s administration is worrying about ransoming those girls. Nobody is crying out for their right to justice. Nobody is begging them for mechilah (forgiveness). No one is offering them reparations to pay for real therapists to heal their wounds.
Instead they are threatening and slandering the witness and those close to her. These unrepentant extortionists, rapists, and pimps should tremble before yom hadin (the day of judgement, Yom Kippur). We should do our best to bring them to justice.
Postscript: Weberman went to trial and was convicted on 59 counts. He is now serving a 103-year sentence. Most of official Williamsburg still insists his verdict was unfair.
Well done, YL.
“I believe they did it for a share of his exorbitant torah therapy fees.”
I believe they did it for a piece of the action. As .. from KY choked and stifled the screams of a poor mother, after weberman transferred her daughter upstate, by saying, “Don’t worry about weberman, he is part of the club.”
If only “they” would understand the ramifications and the life-long suffering survivors of child sexual abuse suffer….
Do you “they” do now?
Do you think “they” ever will?
Adkanenough, the question really is “Do THEY care?” and “Why DON’T they care?”. That is the biggest issue of all! And the reason is because they are accomplices to the crimes! They fed him his victims.
Did they once check out his credentials?
Did they once check out his place of business?
Did they once call and speak to a receptionist?
Did they even ask if there was a receptionist or shomeres?
How could any responsible school be so deaf, dumb and blind? How can any group of religious individuals be so absolutely clueless not to even care enough to ask the child, the parents or even the teachers for progress reports. How can anyone in their right mind not follow the progress or regression, the changes in the child and not catch on that things are NOT working out with this so called therapist? It took 3 full years for them to throw her out of the school. 3 full years of torture before they realized nothing was helping her? Does that make any sense to any normal person????
How could they not notice the similar regression in the girls they sent to him? How could they let him get away with this, how can anyone? And what about the DA and this tape? Why didn’t the DA search his premises and properties to see what other tapes and perhaps photos he possessed. I am sure that once this tape was introduced into evidence it opened the door to question if he had other tapes of this victim or other victims. And what does this tape prove? That he is a menuval that kept a sex tape on a child in his possession even after he was no longer her counselor and had no reason to hold on to it? Sick, very sick. I don’t know how his wife could even stay in the same apartment with him after she found out all about him. Either she is a sick as he is or he has paid her big bucks to see him through the trial.
Not sure if his wife is actually supporting him. The reports that I read said that his sisters came to court with him; they didn’t say anything about a wife.
This is so very sad that this happened to these girls at all and justice must prevail.
your words, so full of the truth, brought me to tears. thank you for such an eloquently written article. if the community doesn’t start protecting the truth, protecting the innocent, punishing the guilty, they wont have a community much longer. I am one of the few, that left, and yet I have a strong belief in god. thank god for that, I am one of the lucky ones!!! Soo many are being turned off by the hypocrisy of this community!! its time to lead by example!! protect your kids!!! weberman has 10 children!!! he should KNOW better!! only god can truly punish him!
His wife was there with him. She can be seen on tapes and pictures
You say, “Some will argue that I am unfair.”
I happen to think you hit a bullseye! I think you have well depicted what most probably was the real scenario, or at least close to it. Could be things didn’t start out like that, but they sure ended up like that, where yeshiva heads knew full well they are doing mischief in sending a young girl into the hands of a man – something that is a huge “no-no” – right from the start, yet they bent the rules of Torah for the sake of a kickback. Your use of the word “pimped for” is not just strong language, because that’s exactly what they stooped to do, without ever having the good of their victims at heart. They were as heartless as goyish pimps – which makes them worse for who they are.
As high as a Jew can climb, he can also descend, unfortunately. That’s the extra power of the Jew. If he uses his power misguidedly, he can descend deeper that the Gentile.
Since you seem to be in the know, I ask you, regarding the other incidents this individual was involved in, as I report here:
have you any info on the guys who were involved together with this guy in what they did 30 years ago?
I do not have more information than the knowledge that the vicious attacks on Rabbis Korf and Wechter were the doing of Satmar, probably folks involved in the Vaad Hatznius, because Korf and wechter were successfully influencing some Satmar boys in Williamsburg toward a favorable view of Chabad teachings.
Insiders in Williamsburg who know the identity of some of the attackers tell me they don’t know if Weberman was involved. They are folks who think the worst of Weberman so they would have been glad to be able to cite another instance of his thuggery. So, I would say the case is unproven, at best.
Your article goes way beyond that to ascribe mystical powers to the late Rabbi of Chabad, Menachem Mendal Schneerson Shlita/Zatzal, just as many in Chabad believe he is the Messiah. I am sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t see the connections which are also premised on a fact, Weberman’s involvement in the attacks, which has not been established.
If I were in Chabad right now, and genuinely cared about sexual abuse of children, I would work to support the victims of Aryeh Goodman and Rabbi Weiss of Albany (Sholom Rubashkin’s S-I-L), and countering the hideous nonsense about child abuse put out by Chabad shliach, Rabbi Manis Friedman.
I appreciate the Chabad instinct to interpret hot items in the news in ways that confirm the rightness of your movement and your rebbe. I just don’t see it that way in this case.
You are welcome to return with more comments as long as you reciprocate and allow me to put my comments and links on your postings.
Yerachmiel, the only posts I eliminate are those of missionaries and chinese spam.
1. What you don’t get, and I don’t blame you because you are outside of Chabad, is that the Rebbe is a prophet. Were you to read the sichah he gave that year on Tammuz 17, 5743 (I link to an English shorter version of it at my blog’s post), you’d read it as if the events the Rebbe speaks of were occurring now.
2. As for some Chabadniks that spout nonsense, it usually follows because they speak their own mind and do not speak that which the Rebbe asked them to speak about. Getting used to their own voice, and perhaps becoming haughty enough to think their “rabbinic” status is worth something, they end up opening their mouth wide enough to put their foot into it.
3. Don’t generalize across all Chabad because of such incidents.
4. As for you reluctance to “ascribe mystical powers to the late Rabbi of Chabad”, instead of telling me what I have to do, like to “work to support victims…”, why not look into what the Rebbe wrote – just once – just one full sicha, just one anything – before you make determinations on a holy Jew’s powers.
1. Wow! Schneerson (aka, the Rebbe, Moshiach, Christos (Greek for Moshiach) etc. was a prophet. Sorry. That is your premise. The Sichos don’t convince me. But I can see how if you believe that and you believe every retrospectively invented story, you believe he was right about everything. However, the fact is that until Weberman was arrested no one talked about Weberman in connection with attacks on Wechter and Korf. His would have been a name that stood out because he came from the most prominent family of malachim and the malachim come from a Chabad tradition.
2. At this point all of Chabad is factionalized into groups creating their own fiefdoms and most concealing the extent of meshchism from the outside while reciting the yechi has become the norm.
4. Call me an old fashioned Jew, but I believe that acts count more than mysticism. Since when does the Rebbe’s Torah abrogate the simple requirements of Jewish law and decency. But you get snooty about that because for you every event is an opportunity to trumpet Chabad’s miracle stories instead of dealing with Chabad’s flaws.
Weberman’s misconduct is a tragedy. His sentence is a result of his arrogance of and his luck with the criminal justice system.
I will bet you anything he is not ruminating about Chabad right now in his jail cell.
The Rebbe, back in ’83, when he spoke extensively on the Korf incident, said that Rabbis will come to defend him, and that agressive incidents against the accuser will be perpetrated.
The Rabbis of Williamsburg, including their top one, came out to defend the accused and used the verse invoked by Shimon and Levi, that you note in your post, to pour abuse on the poor victim, using the verse in a perverse way, implying that the victim was in fact a whore. Had I not seen it for myself, i’d not have believed it.
Then there was the incident (I link to it on my post) where a fish store owner’s son came out and attacked a proponent for justice against the abused.
The Rebbe knew that the victim if Korf’s case was set free by the police, because Reb Korf could not positively identify the driver. (The Rebbe “knew” he was the driver!) The Rebbe said then that “the world is not a ‘hefker velt'”. In other words, he knew the judgement would fall on this guy – and he said also, that if they don’t apologize IN PUBLIC, the perpetrators will be punished in another way.
Do you have a tape recorded sichah where Schneerson said Weberman’s name. Given that he was a malach there would have been ways to say Weberman without using his namem. Or do you have a document proving he said it way back. It is the oldest trick in the book to make believe you predicted something after the fact.
The proof you seek is within your bounds to discover – unless you just want to throw snowballs at someone. It’s there for you to find, if only you want to exert yourself.
יגעתי ומצאתי – תאמין