Eliyahu Fink on Lessons From the Weberman Conviction

Eliyahu Fink writes:

We need to accept survivors into our community with love and affection. We cannot judge them. We cannot allow them to feel second class. We cannot protect their abusers. We must tell them that we do not accept the monsters that harmed them into our communities. We cannot choose monsters over innocent victims. But here is the hard part. We need to acknowledge their pain and suffering without making them feel like they are damaged goods. Yes, their lives have been severely effected for the worse. But they can live beautiful, meaningful lives. We just need to let them. We cannot screen abuse victims from shidduchimand we cannot excuse bad behavior because one is a victim. Yes, they are going to have a hard time because of everything that we still need to understand about the harms of abuse. But that’s okay. We need them to know that we don’t mind if they have a few issues here and there. Who doesn’t? They cannot be stigmatized, otherwise they will never come forward and we run the risk of losing another generation of sex abuse victims.

See the full post “Weberman is Found Guilty: What It Means

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13 thoughts on “Eliyahu Fink on Lessons From the Weberman Conviction

  1. Weberman, Sthick Dreck: “A kind’s treren reissen himlen”……(A child’s tears reach the heavens)

  2. ” I was not at the trial, but I did not read anything that indicated that there was any physical evidence or corroborating witness testimony. It’s scary that Weberman was convicted on these facts. Innocent or guilty, there were very few facts with which to nail him. On the one hand this might mean that innocent people can be convicted of these crimes. I am not saying the Weberman is innocent. I think he lost his chezkas kashrus a long time ago. But it is possible that similar facts could be asserted falsely. That is a little scary because it might cause a reprisal of rabbinic and lay reluctance to pursue these cases in court.”

    YL are you promoting Rabbi Fink and his article?
    Did you read the entire thing?

    • I am promoting the argument he made in the part he quoted. I assume you agree with that part. I do not agree with his other part. I know Rabbi Fink is also Eliyahu Fink, JD a recent graduate of law school and I know he is concerned about civil liberties.

      Truthfully I wish I had also written, I think the question of physical evidence depends on a case. Certainly when there should have been physical evidence available to the prosecution, it is a valid defense to say, “Where is the physical evidence?” But in this sort of case there are good reasons why there is no physical evidence available. In these sorts of cases the burden of proof on the testimony and overall pattern consistent with the accusation rises. But in this case the evidence clearly met the burden of proof plus some.

      Rabbi Fink, I wish you had been more nuanced in making it clear when the question of physical evidence is most concerning. I would also add what we both know, in the Frum world, the pressures against testifying are incredible, absolutely terrifying. So the willingness to go forward as a witness in a trial is usually indicative of more than in a community where victims are not ostracized and tortured for testifying.

      I have also posted the above comment on his website.

  3. Mamme Ruchel vaynt, zi vaynt in zi veint mit a geshrei, vi fil taychen blit hat zich shoin fargossen, zi veint in zi beyt by de Riboinay Kol Hoylomim, breng shoyn mayne kinder tzirik, veshovu bonim ligvilom. Yes my friends, SHAAREI DMUOYS LO NINALI!!!

    hanigun fin der Hayliger Kalever

    • I have not done my homework so I do not know who this “Rabbi” is.
      However he is calling himself a Rabbi and he wrote an article which has been posted all over the internet.
      I feel that it is wrong for him even to insinuate that Weberman may be an innocent man who was wrongly convicted. And how we should all be scared of going to jail when without committing a crime.

      Personally I do not know many people who could be accused of raping young girls and being convicted or even brought to trial with no evidence. Where there is smoke there is fire, would you not agree?

      Why would Rabbi Fink wish to plant a seed of doubt if he really cares about victims of sexual abuse. Because if he did care he would know how vulnerable, weak and ashamed they often feel, and he would known that even after this conviction there will be many victims who will remain silent.

      Why could Rabbi Fink not allow himself to support victims and survivors of sexual abuse in our community one hundred percent?

      Why did Rabbi Fink have to make it sound as though there is a possibility that this young girl has wrongfully accused an innocent man?

      Why?

      Weberman had his day in court and he was convicted on every single count!

      Rabbi Fink. Why?

      • I think he showed poor judgement in raising the problem innocent defendents in this context. However, I do believe, based on reading his full post that he absolutely believes Weberman is guilty and made that clear in his post. Still, I agree his post was insensitive to victims, particularly at this moment when the guilty verdict is both comforting and triggering for many victims.

  4. rabbi i think you need to get the others that where abuse to come forward asap that will help our commuinty

  5. Adkan:

    You asked – Why would Rabbi Fink wish to plant a seed of doubt if he really
    cares about victims of sexual abuse?

    That is not quite a fair assessment of what I did. This is what I said: “It’s
    scary that Weberman was convicted on these facts. Innocent or guilty, there were
    very few facts with which to nail him. On the one hand this might mean that
    innocent people can be convicted of these crimes. I am not saying the Weberman
    is innocent. I think he lost his chezkas kashrus a long time ago. But it is
    possible that similar facts could be asserted falsely. That is a little scary
    because it might cause a reprisal of rabbinic and lay reluctance to pursue these
    cases in court.”

    I said that it is scary. I did not say he was innocent. I did not say that there
    is a reason to think he is innocent. All I said was that with very little
    evidence, he was convicted. AND that it is possible that a SIMILAR case could be
    constructed without truth behind the allegation. I urge you to read carefully
    before you criticize so strongly.

    That being said, I am concerned about defendant’s rights as well. Defendant’s are people
    too. Although they act like monsters they deserve a fair trial. I am also
    concerned that in the hands of sickos in the charedi community, false
    accusations could be used as a weapon or threat against advocates. Ask R’
    Horowitz. It’s already happening.

    I assure you, I have been advocating for survivors vociferously over the last 10
    years and will continue to do so. If you read the REST of the article you saw
    that I am well informed on the nuance of the issues and I am confident that many
    survivors feel comfort in knowing that there is a rabbi like me in their corner.

    • The accuser stood up to 4 days of testimony and cross examination. The assistant DA Kevin O’Donnell says he’s never seen anything like it in a sex crime trial. I share your concern about putting someone in jail based on scanty evidence, but your assertion that “there were very few facts on which to nail him” doesn’t ring true, considering the amount and strength of the testimony against him. It would not be easy at all for another accuser to make up similar accusations out of whole cloth and stand up to the grilling that this victim went through.

      Furthermore, she was never caught lying on the stand, while he was….repeatedly. That, too, is evidence.

      The jury system may not be perfect, but it’s better than any of the alternatives. We live in a country where a jury is entrusted to hear the facts and reach their best judgement. They chose to believe the girl, and there is no reason to think that the rules of evidence were broken here. Convictions can and do happen without physical evidence, and based on the accusation of a single person. You seem to be uncomfortable with the jury system itself, a strange position for a future lawyer.

  6. Rabbi Fink,
    All I am saying is that in this situation, when victims are so helpless and down trodden, I believe, because of your position as a Rabbi, you could have cut the victims a little slack.

    Would it have been so difficult for you to write just ONE article with the Orthodox Jewish victims in mind.

    Is it so much to ask for a Rabbi to offer solace to the victims completely and utterly, just ONCE. without the side comments of “innocent men being locked up”., and inserting seeds of doubt into the minds of the reader?

    I have found that people who have never been victimized dont get it.

    I feel as though I am wasting my time writing to you, because you just dont “get it”.

    • I’ve written several very strong articles on behalf of abuse victims. Would it be so hard for you to actually research my blog before you go around slinging accusations.

      Also, how are you so certain I have not been victimized? Seems a bit presumptuous to me.

      Take a chill pill.

  7. @ to anyone that it may concern

    ….. “It’s scary that Weberman was convicted on these facts. Innocent or guilty, there were very few facts with which to nail him. On the one hand this might mean that innocent people can be convicted of these crimes. I am not saying the Weberman is innocent. I think he lost his chezkas kashrus a long time ago. But it is possible that similar facts could be asserted falsely. That is a little scary because it might cause a reprisal of rabbinic and lay reluctance to pursue these cases in court.”

    For anyone in search of DAAS TORAH, we shall utilize AL DAAS HAMAKOM veAl DAAS HAKOHOL AS WELL!!! GET A LOAD O THIS

    I would like to contribute some enlightment towards the lights of Chanukah. We heard of many about complaints as to how the Jury convicted on 59 counts of assault without any evidence, no DNA, no smoking gun, he said she said testimony, yada yada yada, etc. etc. etc. vechulay vechulay. A Jewish court would have never convicted without 2 kosher witnesses and on and on and on. My dear friends, let me put all these excuses to rest, by presenting to you from the Mother of all Masters and the Master of all Justice, the wisest of all men from before and yonder. It was none other then Shlomo Hamelech that introduced to us the Fifth Shulchan Aruch which teaches us how to arrive at the TRUTH in absence of evidence, smoking gun, DNA or otherwise, the most classic lesson for all generations to come. As the good book states in Mlachim, Hashem came to King Solomon in his dream, and offered him a make a wish, ask me and I shall grant you. To this Shlomo haMelech asked for DIVINE wisdom in order to Judge his flock with Justice, and Hashem promised him not only wisdom but I shall grant you wealth just as well. The good book then continues and tells us the story of “Oz tovayno shtayim nashim…where two women each gave birth to a child, and throughout the night one child died, and the mother switched the dead child to the other mother’s arms. In the morning, the mother awakens and realizes the child is alive no more, but to her astonishment this is not HER child she gave birth to. So they came in front of Shlomo Hamelech with their plight. There was no smoking gun, it was all about she said and she said tetimony, no DNA, no evidence no nothing. Shlomo Hamelech took forth the Fifth Shulchan Aruch Hashem granted him, and in his infinite wisdom discovered that the proof IS IN THE PUDDING! He told to his guards, take my sword and cut the live baby into two halves, deliver each mother a half a baby. To this the real mother jumped up immediately with great “emotion”and CRYING, NO! NO! NO! your Honour, OBJECTION, TAKE THE BABY AND GIVE IT TO HER INTACT, just don’t kill the baby. No sooner did DAVID HAMELECH so order, THIS is the true mother, give the BABY to her. This was and is lesson forever after that there are many ways to skin a cat, even in the absence of witnesses, DNA, smoking gun vechol shaar minei yerakot. My dear friends, YES! The proof is in the PUDDING. You can never, and never will get away with murder.

    YOUR HONOR, I REST MY CASE.

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