A Black Hatter Upset about Belsky’s Obstinance

Yesterday I reported that Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva at Torah Vodaath and Senior Posek at the OU, persists in claiming that Rabbi Yosef Kolko is innocent, in spite of two additional victims willing to testify at his trial and in spite of Kolko’s pleading guilty to all charges.

In response to my posting a comment was submitted by someone using the pseudonym Black Hatter. He wrote,

Wow. This is totally shocking and really upsetting. In one small way this is the hardest part of the story for me to come to grips with.

When this whole thing starting I believed that the Rabbonim were right – mainly because I was brought up (and to be fair I bring up my children) to always believe they are right. I was “sure” they knew the real facts and this was just a case of bitter bloggers on an “anti-rabbi” crusade.

As the facts of the case became public and I learned that Kolko admitted the abuse to his therapist, the victim’s father and some Rabbonim, I starting getting a feeling that something strange was going on. But I convinced myself that the Rabbonim must know something important that I didn’t- why else would they stick their necks out so much for Kolko?

When I read the letters the Rabbi Belsky and the Lakewood Rabbonim publicized and when I read about the persecution of the victim’s family I was even more troubled. The Rabbonim seemed to be going out of their way to harm a family that quite frankly was going through a rough enough time as it was. But again I thought “it must be that there are a few “machers” out there that have these Rabbonim’s ears and are convincing them that Kolko is a tzaddik and the victim’s family are Reshaim. And just like I have been fooled in my life, perhaps these Rabbonim were fooled as well. They don’t have the Internet, so they aren’t reading the blogs like I (secretly) am.

But when I saw on this blog that even after Kolko admitted his guilt in open court, and even after two more victims came forward, and even after Kolko agreed to plea to a full sentence for this crime in order to avoid being charged with the other two (which to my mind clearly indicates he abused many childrenin his life), after all this Rabbi Belsky still maintains that Kolko is innocent and there is “more than meets the eye” I don’t know what to say.

I always hoped that when faced with the truth these Rabbonim would be “Modeh al HaEmes” and realize that they made a mistake. And to be honest, I can deal with Rabbonim making mistakes. I know I have made more than my share. But unfortunately that simply did not happen. How can Rabbi Belsky be so obstinate and not realize what he has done?

Like I said, in one small way this is the hardest part of the story for me to swallow. I don’t think I will sleep well tonight.

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13 thoughts on “A Black Hatter Upset about Belsky’s Obstinance

  1. Black Hatter’s problem comes from his self-imposed isolation from the world around him. Had he been more connected to the wider world, he would not have the attitude he has. It’s like a kid who has graduated college, started his/her first job, and suddenly discovered how the world actually works.

  2. The way I handle it is by acknowledging that the Torah is true, but Rabonim are anything but perfect – especially when it comes to areas not directly addressed in their learning. It is because they are quick to have an opinion in these areas that they eventually are seen to put their foot in their mouth. If they are asked a complex ribis shayla they may say that they can’t answer because if they do they could easily be proven wrong by someone who knows that area of the shulchan oruch well, but when it comes to areas like chinuch, sholom bayis or pedophilia they can give their opinion while standing on one leg and if someone disagrees then so what? He can just say that that is his opinion and he holds by it (no matter how ridiculous he may be as a result).

  3. I would like to add to black hat, I feel the same way and more, especially when I found out how big a Talmud chacham the victims father is. It simply boggles the mind that he was treated this way.

    • Unfortunately, overriding principles in some circles:
      It is forbidden to show our dirty laundry to outsiders, even (or especially) if we are incapable of cleaning it ourselves.
      Never admit a mistake.

      • Even a broken clock is accurate every twelve hours and even a nudnik deserves attetion every other nudge.

        Seriously, you are usually on target. You are right about the mentality.

        But they are so wrong. This dirty laundry is already out there, all over the world thanks to AP wire service’s Katie Zezima. Now they have to decide whether they prefer being known for wearing filthy clothing or laundering it.

        However, the culprits in this story have a different calculation. The shkotzim of AP Wire and bloggers don’t matter. Hamodia, Matzav, YWN, Mishpacha, & Ami will never refute their version of the truth. So, they will demand, “Who will you believe: your lying cheating eyes or daas torah.
        To paraphrase Erich Segal ‘Being daas torah means never having to say you’re sorry.’

        “Shoyn! Do you see dirty laundry; I don’t!”

        Thus the world is divided into a wonderful heimish community where problems are rare and a vile outside world of bloggers and torah haters who desperately stalk hampers searching for dirt and then blow up what they find like a menhadrin mashgiach that can spot an aphid in broccoli at 400 cubits and then assers all the salad at a catered affair.

    • Since Belsky R’ has information relating to Kolko’s innocence he should be called as a witness in the trial. Why is he letting the man go to jail then? Especially since he claims the father is the perpetrator – let him show his investigation and its results to the police and the court.

      • I assume that Rav Belsky received his information by divine revelation, so it would have been inadmissible hearsay.

  4. It is a good thing to follow the rabbanim and even daas torah. But first you have to know that the person you are following is legit. [You would never go to a doctor without getting references and credentials]. Did you ever do your due diligence to ascertain that Rabbi Belsky is a person to look up to that you are so disappointed? Did you ask your Rav? Did you inquire what the talmidei chachamim – the staff and the senior kollel members in Torah Vodaath have to say about him? What was Rav Pam’s opinion? How about Rabbi Svei? How about Rav Elyashiv?

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