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Sep 18, 2008

Dr. Twerski and the kannoim

The following letter was written in coordination with a number of other J-bloggers in the hopes that the message can be disseminated as far and as quickly as possible in a joint campaign against hiding abuse in our communities. We ask that people take a few seconds and copy and send this letter or another letter on the subject to the editors of the Jewish Press in the hopes that this will show the importance of the issue to the public. This is an issue that cannot be avoided or shoved under the rug, and the threats of individuals cannot be allowed to hold sway over our communities. Please take a few seconds and send a letter to the Jewish Press at letters@jewishpress.com. Thank you!
To the Editorial Board of the Jewish Press:

We would like to express our horror at the intimidation and harassment of Dr. Benzion Twerski for his efforts to protect our children from molestation, and we salute you for your courage in publishing the Op-Ed column condemning the harassment of Dr. Twerski. We feel that exposing the actions of the kannoim is the first step in reversing their campaign of terror against members of our community.

We are fed up with the fact that the extremists in our community are allowed to threaten peaceful citizens with threats and we would like to see our police officers arrest and prosecute those who do so to the fullest extent of the law.

If there are any acts of intimidation or threats of violence to Dov Hikind's next appointee to the Child Safety committee; we will join and support a massive email drive to our elected officials – on the local, state and federal levels – to step in and protect those who are helping protect our children.

We respectfully ask you to run an editorial next week condemning this disgraceful act, acknowledging the number of these emails that were sent to you and calling on our leaders and rabbonim to publicly distance themselves from acts of intimidation and violence each and every time they occur with the same fervor reserved for other actions that contradict our holy Torah – and to declare the acts of violence as the sins they are.

Respectfully submitted,
Rafi Goldmeier (Life in Israel)

P.S. Please note that this e-mail was a joint letter composed by numerous members of the community in a coordinated effort.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  2. I have been reading about the horrible molestation incidents and Rav Twerski's reasons for withdrawing from this committee.

    I am so concerned that I too, am considering copying your letter (perhaps with a few minor changes) and sending it myself to the Jewish Week.

    This has serious implications for the Jewish community at large, and the Hareidi community in particular.

    Is there anyone who has the courage to examine the direction in which Judaism has been going this past century?

    I doubt--yes, doubt--the authenticity of "Hareidut." It is written, 'al tosif o tafchit miha-Torah,' but it seems to me that is exactly what the Hareidi Rabbanim are doing.

    It is not Judaism to have women wear 'overcoats' to hide their dresses at smachot (can't remember where I read that), it is not Judaism to use a "bug-light" to scrutinize lettuce and other vegetables for microscopic bugs: if you can't see them with the naked eye le-chatchila, they aren't there. There are many more examples.
    How dare a community threaten a learned tzadik such as Dr. Benzion Twerski, who was only doing the righteous thing, attempting to save lives by joining a fact-finding committee to uncover sexual abuse by trusted Rabbeim?
    Threatening him in essence, with cherem?

    In this day and age that is the equivalent to karet, being cut-off from one's kehilah.

    A great way to keep young Jews within the fold, right?

  3. Kol Hakavod Rafi for aligning yourself, and this blog, with those who protect our children.

    It is absolutely beyond me how anyone would hold opposing values - but apparently there are swarms of such people, including those in positions of leadership - and even those who we entrust to educate and protect our precious children.

    Hashem Yishmor.

  4. this week's Jewish Press had letters--not yours--about the filthy and disgusting way the Rabbonim and parents have been covering up the issue for years--generations. Keep up the pressure.


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