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1 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:02:04pm

Change comes slowly to the extreme edges of any spectrum - religious, social, political. Men like Mr Jungreis are to be lauded; it is no small thing in an insular community to thwart established norms, be they ever so wrong.

2 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:10:16pm

As long as the change comes.

Even for the Haredim, avoiding the realities of 21st century sensibilities is not an option.

3 EiMitch  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:31:38pm

Its easy for me to say this from an armchair, but: those who treat you as "the enemy" for reporting the rape of your children to the police aren't your friends.

And thats really the least I can say.

4 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:38:32pm

re: #3 EiMitch

From the article:

“They are more afraid of the outside world than the deviants within their own community,” Dr. Heilman said. “The deviants threaten individuals here or there, but the outside world threatens everyone and the entire structure of their world.”

Destined to become famous last words

5 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:39:18pm

I left this comment over at another blog which is discussing this article:

They should be making a big Asifa about molestation, how to prevent it and stop it from happening instead of the geshrey over teh eebil Internet. If molesters could watch CGI porn on the Internet maybe they wouldn't be tempted to harm real actual children!

6 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:40:15pm

re: #3 EiMitch

The unwritten part of this story is that the engrained response in these communities is to turn to the local bet din for judicial relief. Civilian authorities, in the collective memory of the Eastern European Jews, were not to be trusted. What has happened over the decades, is that the willingness of the local religious courts to take action in touchy cases has been reduced. This may be due to a desire to keep negative events under wraps (to avoid bad press for orthodox Jews) or because of the difficulty of reaching halachically binding consensus and enforcing any subsequent decrees. Regardless, that is no excuse for ignoring, tolerating or worse harbouring and protecting sexual predators.

7 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:47:07pm

re: #5 Learned Mother of Zion

I fully agree that a molestation (or domestic violence, or, or) Asifa would be more valuable than the one being staged at Citi Field. But, the Internet Asifa reflects the perceived threat rather than the actual one. As such, it is instructive to see what the Haredim get up in arms about. Phones with cameras, parking lots - all these peripheral things are portrayed as great threats to Judaism. That these are the chosen targets is a subject to big to handle here.

As an aside, it is not necessarily true that the ability to freely access porn diminishes the urge to act out. But, I am not a psychologist so I will not take a firm position, one way or another.

8 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:47:22pm

re: #5 Learned Mother of Zion

Next, they'll blame you.
/ (sort of)

The incidences can be reduced if the perpetrators were confident they would be brought to justice and shamed in front of the community. Shame is a very powerful force.

Of course, it won't stop the problem entirely but for the moment, perpetrators remain confident they will not face justice or the wrath of the community.

Therein lies the dysfunction and the greater tragedy.

I recall reading about a young man who committed suicide on his wedding night and the likelihood he was molested for a long time and could not deal with his own resultant sexual dysfunction.

Heartbreaking on so many levels.

9 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:50:31pm

re: #6 Ascher

Jews have thrived in America playing by the rules.

To bring up Jewish distrust of European authorities is a red herring, I believe, a false justification of bad behavior.

10 Bob Levin  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:51:56pm

re: #4 researchok

The love of denial sort of makes it too late. The outside world is way deep inside each person in the community.

11 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:53:21pm

re: #7 Ascher

Outlets for pent up dysfunctional behaviors do have a place, so Learned Mother of Zion's point is well taken.

That said, those outlets, without treatment do no more than buy time.

Any and every psychopathology left untreated, escalates.

12 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 12:55:40pm

re: #10 Bob Levin

You know, sometimes I wonder if it is the love of denial or the need of denial.

Avoiding reality for this generation of Haredim will be as successful as trying to avoid the perils and evils of electricity of previous generations.

13 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:06:30pm

re: #9 researchok

I believe that societies have memories, too. The stories and history are handed down from generation to generation. In closed societies, the fact that your great-great grandmother was raped by Cossacks while the Tsar's police stood by and laughed is a very powerful teaching. It should also be pointed out that Jews were allowed to immigrate into the United States under the condition that Jewish society would find a way to support its own poor and needy (see The Jews in America). So, looking inward in the first instance is not such a far throw for Jews even in this country.

14 Bob Levin  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:08:00pm

re: #12 researchok

Once you need it, you learn to love it. Just like everyone else in the outside world.

15 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:21:03pm

re: #13 Ascher

I'm not discounting collective memory (props to Jung), however, experience is a far more powerful motivator.

The child may fear what is on the next block over, but as he experiences that reality, his fear dissipates. The 'other' is not as different, or evil, or as scary as he thought- or was told. The same is true of collective experiences- and that is why the integration of minority immigrant communities into American society has been so successful. America has creates a climate of freedom for all, not repression or oppression.

16 Daniel Ballard  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:35:11pm

Okay have these people just not seen what happened at the Catholic church? Protecting the religions reputation by covering up child sex perversions will most certainly backfire.

The children safety come first. That is the ethic any religion must embrace.

17 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:36:46pm

re: #15 researchok

Precisely. And this is why insularity saps so much forward momentum from any community - it is tremendously energy intensive. Though on the issue of the continuing successes of American integration, we could have a long and preferably drunken conversation.

18 shutdown  Thu, May 10, 2012 1:38:17pm

re: #16 Daniel Ballard

Okay have these people just not seen what happened at the Catholic church?.....

No, they have not. See also: Internet Asifa. They have no interest in any news or information that is not pre-chewed by the rabbi.

19 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 2:24:36pm

re: #18 Ascher

No, they have not. See also: Internet Asifa. They have no interest in any news or information that is not pre-chewed by the rabbi.

Don't kid yourself.

They know exactly what happened in the Catholic Church- and they do not wan to be compared to them in any way, shape or form. That isw the delusion they operate under, that somehow, they aren't as bad, the problem isn't as big, etc.

You can be sure they have consulted with lawyers and other 'outsiders' who they believe can help them avoid the inevitable.

Sooner or later there will be hindering prosecution charges and all hell will break loose.

There is precedent- wasn't there a Grand Rabbi who was sent to prison for money laundering? When the time came, they all caved.

20 SanFranciscoZionist  Thu, May 10, 2012 2:40:56pm

re: #6 Ascher

The unwritten part of this story is that the engrained response in these communities is to turn to the local bet din for judicial relief. Civilian authorities, in the collective memory of the Eastern European Jews, were not to be trusted. What has happened over the decades, is that the willingness of the local religious courts to take action in touchy cases has been reduced. This may be due to a desire to keep negative events under wraps (to avoid bad press for orthodox Jews) or because of the difficulty of reaching halachically binding consensus and enforcing any subsequent decrees. Regardless, that is no excuse for ignoring, tolerating or worse harbouring and protecting sexual predators.

The situation is out of control. I'm aware of the history, but nearly the whole American Orthodox community has managed to find a functional balance that involves reporting crimes to the secular authorities.

Meanwhile, the fringe has developed a paranoia about the modern world so intense that they will allow criminals to destroy them from within rather than take advantage of a stable society with the rule of law.

Rabbi Chanina, an assistant of the high priest said: Pray for the welfare of the government, since but for fear of it men would swallow each other alive.

21 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 2:48:32pm

re: #20 SanFranciscoZionist

A very big part of this is the belief- or rather need to believe- that somehow, the Haredim and their lifestyle and beliefs preclude them from having these kinds of problems.

I recall reading an essay by Dr Abraham Twersky on the epidemic of spousal abuse and substance abuse in the Haredi/Orthodox community. He was excoriated and and hounded for years but he held his ground. Twesky is founder of the highly regarded Gateway Treatment Center in Pittsburgh. He himself is a Haredi.

Now there a myriad of services and help available for women victims of abuse and their children as well as programs for Haredi substance abusers.

It took over a decade, but change finally came.

This is no different than the Catholic Church scandals, FGM, abuse of girls and forced marriages in some other communities and so on.

To pretend otherwise is to turn a blind eye to abuse- and that is not acceptable. EVER.

22 researchok  Thu, May 10, 2012 3:08:32pm

I would add one more thing:

If the Haredi community truly wanted to demonstrate their piety and good intentions, they would deal with these problems swiftly and openly in broad daylight. That would set them apart from other religious institutions and groups who also engage in denial and cover up.

Dealing with the problem up front and openly would speak volumes about their good intentions- and morality.

For now, they are merely a part of a dysfunctional crowd which exhibits shameful behavior.

23 Bob Levin  Thu, May 10, 2012 7:42:43pm

re: #19 researchok

re: #18 Ascher

No, they have not. See also: Internet Asifa. They have no interest in any news or information that is not pre-chewed by the rabbi.

Don't kid yourself.

They know exactly what happened in the Catholic Church- and they do not wan to be compared to them in any way, shape or form. That isw the delusion they operate under, that somehow, they aren't as bad, the problem isn't as big, etc.

You can be sure they have consulted with lawyers and other 'outsiders' who they believe can help them avoid the inevitable.

Sooner or later there will be hindering prosecution charges and all hell will break loose.

There is precedent- wasn't there a Grand Rabbi who was sent to prison for money laundering? When the time came, they all caved.

This is the perfect example of a Mishnah--where you are both 100 percent correct, even though you are disagreeing. And from this form, you get some serious wisdom.

24 Bob Levin  Thu, May 10, 2012 7:54:52pm

re: #22 researchok

Part of the mindset, still, is that it's considered impolite for someone mention that another is a Baal Teshuva, which would be embarrassing. Such information would be a form of Lashon Hara. Taken rigidly, this functions as an App that precludes introspection.

So how does this interact with the Torah App, which is supposed to open the heart, to allow truth to flow through oneself? Blue screen. (Is blue screen outdated, even though I would get blue screens only a few years ago?)

25 researchok  Fri, May 11, 2012 5:39:05am

re: #24 Bob Levin

At what point does the dance stop?

When does serious social impact supersede the legal minutiae? And how do fix a population in which large segments actually believe defending the indefensible is appropriate? Isn't that exactly what the Catholic Church has done with the support of their parishioners (read: there is a book in there somewhere. Seriously).

26 Bob Levin  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:55:13am

re: #25 researchok

Unfortunately, you are describing the behavior, not of a religion, but of a cult. Which means that they are on their own curve. Help equals interference, questions threaten the paradigm, asking others to help fix the problem constitutes an attack on boundaries, etc.

However, in history, these institution wither on their own, as long as there is a newer worldview that is internally stronger. I think the best strategy is for other Jews to look at the Torah in ways that are more internally coherent, that foster greater individual decision making and learning, essentially stressing that each person become the type of person wise enough to live in the civilization described in the Torah. And life will help that process along.

This structure has to be almost anarchic. Individuals are not looking to be told how to think. Synagogues are useful, but not necessary, and personal interactions are more like informal discussions among scientists--

STRINGS
by Carole Buggé
directed by Marvin Kaye

On a train en route to London to attend the play Copenhagen, two English physicists, upper-class cosmologist George and brilliant working-class String theorist Rory, along with George’s American cosmologist wife June, pursue their complex ideas about physics—a conversation that barely masks just-below-the-surface deceit and lies. Old Cambridge University classmates George and Rory dig at one another, with June caught in the middle. Poetry and probability fuel their collisions, as their heroes—Isaac Newton, Max Planck and Marie Curie—intercede with perspective, solace and humor. Excavating layers of jealousy, loss and grief, George, Rory and June finally expose their deepest longings for meaning in a questionably trustworthy universe. This train ride firmly intertwines cool science with the heat of emotional desire and longing. STRINGS is loosely based on the real-life train ride event in which American physicists Burt Ovrut, Paul Steinhardt and English physicist Neil Turok tweaked the Big Bang theory—and changed it forever.

Paul describes this event as showing the way that scientists really think, which is not quite so analytical, but closer to the chase of a butterfly hunt, looking for elusive inspiration.

That train ride is closer to Judaism than listening to the sermon on Shabbos between Shacharis and Mussaf.

27 researchok  Fri, May 11, 2012 1:45:22pm

re: #26 Bob Levin

Book.

Forgiver me, but brevity makes it's own point.

No one talks about contemporary, original or insightful thought any more.

The Euro image is receding and rather than looking ahead, the focus is on the rear view mirror, recreating an ideal that never was.

And there is a train coming at high speed.


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