Rabbi Blau Scores a Home Run Off William Handler

William (Hillel) Handler say child abuse should not be reported to the authorities because protective service workers are just looking for excuses to take away children. This article provoked me and others by its absurdity and fear mongering. A powerful rejoinder by Rabbi Yosef Blau was published in this week’s Jewish Press, titled, Responding to Abuse: Should We Ask Gedolim? Check out the entire article. Here are a few choice excerpts.

He [Rabbi William (Hillel) Handler] asserts that one should go to a gadol who has “siyata deshmaya.” The fact that there is no evidence that this has reduced abuse in the past is far less significant than its assertion of frumkeit. Not one of the major poskim who analyze the level of certainty needed before calling the police has ever made the claim that he is better equipped to deal with abuse……

The Talmud in Yoma (83a) discusses the role of doctors in determining whether a person is permitted to eat on Yom Hakippurim. It’s clear the Talmud recognizes expertise and trusts the knowledge of a person in his field. Even non-Jewish experts are trusted to determine taste in a mixture of kosher and non-kosher ingredients……

Most troubling is the argument that there is a group of so-called experts working for the state agency protecting children who are looking to take Jewish children from their parents and have the parents prosecuted. In this scenario, if they don’t find the Jewish parents guilty of abuse they will lose their jobs… The reality is exactly the opposite – the child protection agencies in fact need more social workers……

Where is the support for those who struggle to overcome the double trauma of having been abused and not believed when they came forward? The recent case in Lakewood where the rabbinic leadership defended an abuser (who was convicted after other victims came forward and he admitted guilt) and hounded the victim’s family has produced not one apology from the rabbis involved……

We must stop trying to protect our image and start protecting our children.

For more of Handler’s antics defending a man convicted of raping his daughter, see, Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, Why Are You Defending Yisroel Moshe Weingarten?

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