Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn updated his Daas Torah blog post “RCA Issues Clarification of Its Position on reporting Abuse – Kolko case & Rav Belsky” to question the RCA for not addressing some critical problems with Rabbi Belsky’s stance. He writes,
The RCA acknowledges it is bothered by the fact that Rav Belsky’s position on the Kolko case is inconsistent with the official position of the RCA [to go directly to the police with reasonable suspicions]. However they allow him to deviate in the Kolko case – because he claims he has investigated the matter and knows Kolko to be innocent. It fails to explain on what basis Rav Belsky has come to conclusion that Koko is innocent – despite the president of the RCA writing me that,
Concerning the Kolko case, Rabbi Belsky made it clear, based upon his involvement in the case, that he believes the defendant to be innocent of the charges and that the accusers are actually the guilty parties. He is convinced of this position, in spite of what seems to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The RCA clarification also fails to deal with the fact that Rav Belsky has done much more than simply cling to the belief in Kolko’s innocence “despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
1) There is no basis in Jewish law for calling someone a moser [snitch] if he has gone to beis din and received permission to call the police. 1) There is no basis in Jewish law for calling someone a moser if he received a psak that it is obligated to go to the police. In this case he received a written psak from Rav Moshe Sternbuch that he was obligated to report the abuse [update and correction]
2) Rav Belsky not only has proclaimed Kolko innocent but he accused the victim’s father of sexual abusing his own son and said that the victims’s father reported Kolko to the police only to avoid being blamed himself. This astounding slander – which has no basis in fact – does not seem to bother the RCA – why not? Rabbi Goldin claims – contrary to the obvious translation of Rav Belsky’s defamatory letter that
Rabbi Belsky did not accuse the father of abuse-but rather of rishus [wickedness]. He claims that the allegations were trumped up and that Kolko was framed and forced to accept a plea deal”.
Even if Rabbi Goldin’s reading is accepted – Rav Belsky has presented no evidence to justify this slander.
Why does the RCA allow Rav Belsky to continue to slander a great talmid chachom [rabbinic scholar] without any apparent justification?
In sum – How can the RCA make this “clarification” without addressing the elephant in the room of Rav Belsky’s obscene public slander of the father of the victim?
In a nutshell, Rabbi Eidensohn is raising the following problems:
- The RCA accepts Belsky’s claim that Kolko is innocent without even specifying how or why he reached that conclusion.
- The RCA has disregarded the grave offense of Belsky’s slander of the father of the victim, a great talmid chochom (rabbinic scholar of distinction).
- The RCA is disregarding the fact that the father reported to the police with the consent of a properly constituted local beit din and the approval of a major posek, [Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, av beit din of the eidah chareidis in Jerusalem). Thus there is no halachic justification for labeling the father a moser (snitch).
- The RCA cannot simultaneously claim to oppose victim intimidation while not challenging Belsky and even claiming that Rabbi Belsky agrees with the RCA policy.