Agudah, Can You at Least Be as Good as Reform Jews on Sex Abuse

The Union of Reform Judaism commissioned an independent investigation into all sex abuse within its programs including its youth groups and camps. They released the entire report, admitted they fell short and committed to further steps including adopting the recommendations of the independent report.

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OU Drops Annual Pre-Passover Webcast with Belsky

Rabbi Yisroel BelskyThe OU (Orthodox Union) has been running Pre-Passover webcasts (e.g., 2013 video) for several years with a mixture of lecturing and Q&A featuring their senior poskim (rabbinical authorities), Rabbis Herschel Schachter and Yisroel Belsky. According to their 2013 publicity:

Almost everyone knows the four questions that are read in the haggadah during the Passover seders, but for two OU Kosher poskim (halachic authorities) — Rabbi Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Hershel Schachter — multiple other questions are asked of them every year during the Orthodox Union’s Pre-Passover webcast, which this year will take place on Tuesday, March 12…… Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, vice president of communications and marketing… notes that “the ever popular OU Kosher Pre-Pesach Webcast listened to by thousands around the world has taken place for several years with specific topics and issues addressed in each; this year questions will be accepted on all issues and concerns involving the Passover holiday.”

This year, the OU’s webinar was just for rabbis and Belsky was not on their panel. According to their web announcement,

OU Kosher halachic posek Rav Hershel Schachter will answer general questions… Rabbi Dov Schreier… will discuss Passover food service standards and policies; and Rabbi Gavriel Price… will address ingredient issues. Rabbi Eli Gersten… will serve as moderator and will respond to other Passover–related questions and concerns.

Conspicuously missing from this roster posted in February is Rabbi Yisroel Belsky. He was also missing from the list of respondents to Top Consumer Questions posted on April 3, 2014.

Why is this Passover different from others?

  • In other years the OU gave Belsky top billing along with Rabbi Hershel Schachter.
  • In other years the OU was eager to have lay members ask Belsky questions.
  • In other years the OU upheld Belsky’s position on Quinoa.
  • In other years the OU glossed over Belsky’s defense of the Lakewood molester, Rabbi Yosef Kolko

The Answer

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Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children (Satire)

Novominsker Rebber Rosh Moetzes

Novominsker Rebber
Rosh Moetzes

This is a repost of the very first Frum Follies post, erev sukkot, four years ago. It is satire saturated with Yeshivish frum-speak, which is why I named my new blog, Frum Follies. I apologize to secular readers because many of the allusions will be lost on you. But the flavor of the piece depends on the language, and fully translating and explaining every allusion would be a ton of work,  a virtual dissertation on ultra orthodox culture, and the various cases of sex abuse, well known in the community.

The problems of znus (sexual misconduct) and pritzus (immodesty) in our hefker (anarchic) society threaten the very life of our holy community. Rabbossai, chatani, we have sinned. Yes, even to the point where we have allowed foxes into the sanctuary, and znus into some of our mosdos (organizations of )torah. It is hard to keep out all those who fool us b’chadrei chareidim (behind closed doors), break the mitzvos (religious commandments) and are mizalzel (taint) themselves with the Internet. Continue reading

Weekly Round-up: June 22, 2013

It was a busy week at Frum Follies with a new look and an official comments policy.

In the aftermath of the Yosef Kolko guilty plea I rebutted the claim that the BMG leadership forced him to plead guilty and predicted that he will report his uncle molested him.

The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) continued to contradict its excellent official policy on CSA by making believe Rabbi Yisroel Belsky agrees with them. This in spite of the fact that Belsky still claims Kolko is innocent, Belsky tried to intimidate the witness against Kolko, and Belsky slandered the father of the victim by calling him a molester. One satirist claims the RCA website was hacked.

Other important stuff on the web includes continued challenges to Lakewood’s persecution of the family of the Kolko victim by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn on his Daas Torah blog where he posted a public apology to family of the victim by Dovid Epstein who said he was misled by local leadership. R. Eidensohn also issued a call on others in Lakewood to distribute this letter and join in its message. Harry Maryles, picked up on this story on his blog, Emes Ve-Emunah where he writes,

Rabbi Belsky must accept a good deal of the blame for this upon himself. It is hard to fathom how he does not lose any sleep over this. It is hard to fathom that it does not haunt him any less than it does Rabbi Epstein – even if he were to apologize. But he has not apologized and still maintains Kolko’s innocence. I do not see how he can still say that without bringing some exculpatory evidence. I don’t think any exists or it would have been brought by now.

Ben Hirsch contrasts the success of the Ocean County Kolko prosecution with the dismal performance of Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes in A Tale of Two Cities. Hynes is prosecuting (actually persecuting) Samuel Kellner who brought forward witnesses against alleged serial molester B. M. Lebovits according to two prominent Hasidic Rabbis, Chaim Flohr and Yechezkel Gold (see New York Times).

We have audio proof that Rabbi Boruch Dov Lesches is ignorant about sex abuse and thinks young boys consent to being sexually abused. Rabbi Lesches, formerly head of the Sydney Bais Din has been a rabbi at K’hal Tzemach Tzedek Lubavitch of Monsey since 2007.  He may just have topped R. Manis Friedman who was roundly criticized  by Benny Forer and others and satirized by Asher Lovy.

Meanwhile, Chabad’s Gan Yisrael camps refused to participate in Jewish Community Watch’s Project E.M.E.S. to ensure policies, training, and screening to reduce the risk of abuse.

RCA Is Wrong When It Says, “Belsky Agrees With Us”

According to the Asbury Park Press, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky said,

“When your child tells you something, you don’t go straight to a prosecutor, you go to a Bais Din and let them examine the (evidence).”

In connection with the recent guilty plea of Yosef Kolko, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) reported,

Rabbi Belsky informed us that he favors the reporting of credible suspicions of abuse directly Continue reading