Jun 10, 2009

Getting involved

A Guest Post

The now infamous Jerusalem Post article regarding abuse on RBS has caused a "stir" in our community. Everyone feels that they must take a side and preach to the merits of the article or against "airing our dirty laundry".

I am not here to be pro or con nor to stand on any form of soapbox. I wish to discuss David Morris.

Before I begin I must admit that I love David Morris. And I love Rav Malinowitz as well as Rav Perlstein, Rav Eidensohn, Rabbi Myers and Effy from the makolet. I also love the garbage collector, the mailman and even our Knesset members.

You see I love all Jews.

And so does David Morris. I have known David for many years yet we are not "close" friends. Although he and I dress nothing alike, send our kids to very different schools and speak a very different version of the English language I feel that I have much to learn from this man.

When I speak to him outside of the makolet or at a store he exudes a simchas hachaim that I have seen in very few people. He speaks often of his rav and the close relationship that they enjoy. I also know that David is "koveah ittim" with regular sederim/shiurim of learning. Most of all he speaks passionately about his desire to help people whether personally or through Lema'an Achai.

David founded this organization to assist all Jews in need in our community. And this like all that he does was in consult with Rabbonim. He told me that he asked of and he received the guidance and brocha of Rav Aharon Soloveichik, ZT''L.

David Morris's concern for klal Yisroel reaches far beyond the poor. He was active in assisting the Gush Katif expellees. David was instrumental in bringing refugees from the north in 2006 and kids from towns under attack towns earlier this year.

When there are Jews in distress David Morris takes up the call. When a problem affects our community David will be there.
No matter what type of hat, kippa or clothing the Jew wears he can rest assured that there is someone who will hear his suffering and take up his "cause".

All of this is done without any form of remuneration or glory. And in many instances quite the opposite occurs.

Of one thing I am certain...If David Morris has involved himself there is certainly a problem, Jews are suffering and he will not stop until it is addressed and their cries are heard.


  1. And don't forget to mention that Lemaan Achai is David's project in his 'spare time', which he runs at huge personal cost to himself and family. (Middle of the night phonecalls when David has rushed to action are not uncommon).

    David has his own job, with his own company and family commitments and yet still makes time to be so very involved in our community.
    We are blessed and very lucky to have him amongst us.

  2. David Is Not KorachJune 10, 2009 12:38 PM

    David Morris' monumental stature is easily demonstrated in another arena as well-his children. His children arre so sweet and so idealistic, and so committed to Torah and am yisrael. They clearly have learned wonderful values from their father.

    And for the record-his wife is great as well!

  3. David is a TzaddikJune 10, 2009 12:41 PM

    Regarding the claim that David Morris is akin to Korach.

    How could this be? He follows everthing HaRav Chaim Soloveichik tells him.

    I never knew that Korach followed his Rebbe!

  4. More about Julie...June 10, 2009 12:56 PM

    David is not Korach said:

    "And for the record-his wife is great as well!"

    Actually - if not for Julie Morris, David would surely not be able to have achieved all that he has done for our community (and for Jews around the country too).

    Julie is a tzedekes mamish.

    I have seen myself, for many years, how Julie encourages David and supports him 24/7 - to help Jews in distress.

    Julie is David's silent partner - a true, real, in-our-community, ultimate aishit chayil.

  5. I just read the summary of Rabbi Malinowitz's derasha.
    He says,
    "The second event that occurred was the publication of an article that alleged many terrible things in our neighborhood. I will focus ONLY on the claim that the local Rabbonim turn a blind eye to this, "burying their heads in the sand."

    Many of us have had the experience of having witnessed something which is then reported in the press. The common experience is to find numerous examples of inaccuracies in the articles. It happens to be that I am intimately familiar with the problem, and even with the specific examples that were cited in the article. I know for a fact that their portrayal of rabbinical “disinterest” was complete sheker."

    It doesn't say anywhere in the JPOST article that the rabbis turned a blind eye or buried their heads in the sand.

    The claim in the article was more that in many cases rabbis in charge of a school believed the accused over the accuser. DM is not quoted in the article as saying that the Rabbis are not involved.

  6. Where is there a summary of the drasha of Rav Malinowitz?

  7. Julie is the First LadyJune 10, 2009 1:19 PM

    In my book Julie is the first lady-kol hakavod to her for allowing David to put in so much time to help others.

  8. The other point in Rabbi Malinowitz's derasha was about the supervision on the mikve. Granted that a mikve must be supervised by someone you trust. We would trust a Rav to do that. He is trained to do that. I don't know what training a Rav has in dealing with victims of sexual abuse. So, I am not sure I would be so quick to trust his opinion on that unless I knew the had the qualifications to do so.

    What is interesting about the mikve though, is that the same mikve which he seems not to have approved of during the week was OK on Friday nights. One could conjecture a few possibilities. It could be that it is OK but not lechatchila and Friday night when it is possible to drive one must use the mikve in Bet. But, I have heard that the difference was the mikve ladies. In halacha, the mikve lady is to make sure that the woman's hair is completely submerged. Not much training is needed for that.
    Perhaps, he is saying that the mikve ladies don't have neemanus as an eid echad to say that it was submerged. Hmmm.
    In any case, be aware that the mikvaos which are under the local rabbanut mikvaos are under the supervision of Rav David Spektor (as is the city wide eruv). Since, this is all a matter of "trust". I trust Rav Spektor.

  9. thank you Rafi G.!June 10, 2009 1:35 PM

    thank you for taking a stand and putting yourself out on the front lines. I know it can't be easy.

    If even only person has the guts to get help for their sickness or one victim has the support to address their abuse, then Rafi, you have made a difference.

  10. There seems to be a remarkable gap between what the Jerusalem Post article said, and what some people, including Rav Malinowitz, are claiming it said.

    To set the record straight, please read (or re-read) the article:


    David seems to have been very careful with his words - and kept his description of the problem he is seeing, as unspecific as possible.

    His choice was either to say nothing (sweep the issue under the carpet), or to say something generic (which he did) or to be *specific* about which schools, which community leaders, which case, etc (which he studiously avoided).

    In my opinion, Davids wisely chose the non-specific option.

    I therefore can't understand why Rav Malinowitz is criticizing David's approach.

    Particularly why Rav Malinowitz is even resorting to misrepresenting the written text.

    Which of the other two options would Rav Malinowitz propose - covering it up (surely not?!) - or Naming & Shaming (surely not?!).

  11. And he was a great guy, oh a good few years back. I remember the arid town of Arad and a bespectacled, and let's not deny, hilarious, young lad. He's shaped up well and remains as he was then - a thoroughly pleasant chap.

  12. David Morris, Sar Shel ChesedJune 10, 2009 2:42 PM

    Dear Name,

    As a member of BT and one who knows RM pretty well I would tell you that RM would have wanted nothing said (not a cover up) in the JP..a public forum.

    I would like to comment about David Morris and Lema'an Achai. I daven at BT (most of the time) and learn in the Gra. I admire the many mosdos chesed here in RBS and the ruach HaTorah this community provides.

    I am a close follower of this blog and its sultan..Reb Rafi. From time to time a discussion will lead to Kupa and Lema'an Achai and "all h#$l" breaks loose. Defenders and detractors will go at it in the safety of Rafi's uninhibited forum.

    As a supporter of both organizations and someone who spends hours at BT and the Gra I want to make one thing clear.

    Kupa surely has the upper hand.

    Lema'an Achai is never mentioned in the Gra and their materials are no where to be seen. In BT we have Rabbi Greenspan who speaks for Lema'an Achai yet the prevailing support seems to be for Kupa Shel Tzedaka.

    I persoanlly can't figure why these anglo charedim won't at least give to and support both of these fine organziations.

    That's what we do.

    Many of my and my wife's friends must certainly agree with Lema'an Achai's great work and philosophy in chesed. Yet, when I ask them about it they are very parve or even negative about Lema'an Achai and can give no good reason.

    Most of them have never been there and have no idea what Lema'an Achai is all about.

    I suggest to them (and to all of you out there in TV land) to go and see for yourself. I brought a donation to the office once and took a look around. You will be impressed as to who is helping and being helped and in so many ways.

    Thank you David Morris for starting Lema'an Achai and making RBS a better place to live!

  13. Maybe we should all read the article again.Capitalization mine.
    "begins the haredi-raised Zehava, as she shares the story of her battle against the town's religious leaders, who in her view TURN A BLIND EYE to the ongoing problem of sexual abuse in the semi-private haredi school system.

    "We have an epidemic on our hands, and there is COMPLETE DENIAL here that there is anything wrong," she continues. "I spoke to the rabbis and other community leaders here, but they all called me a liar and said that this kind of thing does not happen here... but it does."

    Sadly, Zehava, a recent immigrant from the US, has proof of such abuse and is one of a growing number parents from Ramat Beit Shemesh becoming increasingly frustrated with their leaders' CONTINUAL DENIAL of the problem.

    So Rav Malinowitz was correct in his claim.

  14. Anon,

    I did read the article again as you suggested.

    Did David Morris say that?

    And is Rav Malinowitz attacking Zehava, a mother mourning the loss of her child's innocence?

    If Rav Malinowitz is attacking here it should not be parent's of victims.

    If he wants to attack David Morris it should not be for words that he didn't say.

    David Morris didn't write the entire article, he simply gave a statement.

  15. nobody knows what was actually said. There were very few actual quotes. The claim was perceived, though DM has said that is not what meant.

    That is why Rabbi M in his speech said the author wrote lies, and he did not attack DM..

  16. Is Rabbi Malinowitz claiming that the mother Zahava never really said what she is quote as saying?
    This seems strange.

  17. That's right. It is the anonymous "Zehava" that Rabbi Malinowitz must be attacking. Not David Morris. Even though it was DM that Rabbi Malinowitz's demanded to make a public apology.

    The summary of the derasha was sent out to the beis tefila email list.

  18. not zehava, but the author. maybe he understood it differently than the way you did.
    It seems that the author wrote the article in a way that left an impression that Rabbi M says is sheker. But that impression he perceived is what he read in the article itself, not just as an impression.

    So the debate now is who perceived the article in what way.

  19. http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/06/dr-n-klafter-impact-of-sexual-abuse.html


  20. Ok, Rafi G. Then why did R. Malinowitz demand an apology from DM?

  21. Breaking news!
    Female nursery school teacher in UK charged with sexually assaulting children!


  22. See, when a female nursery school teacher abuses children, it is considered an international amazing news story!!!! Not so when a male teacher is accused of abusing a boy, right? I bet there were ten cases of man on boy abuse in UK schools this month, but these were never picked up by the media.

  23. Yes it is certainly bizarre and certainly less common than male abusers.
    So why does RBS have to be a magnet for the most bizarre perverse behavior?

  24. RBS has always atracted the weirdos.
    only in RBS can you see a guy looking like he's straight out of bnay brak walking a dog right out of central park

  25. Sources for excepting testimony from minors
    and testimony by an adult about things that happened to him when he was a minor.

    These are specifically about molestation

    An article in Yeshurun (15)


    A (translated) teshuva from the shoel umeshiv (1:185)


    While this discussion seems to have died down, and there were a lot of great ideas, I think that people (myself included) are a bit fearful of actually approaching the schools to make changes and adopt protocols.

  26. you are right. it cannot be done by individuals. it has to be done by an organizations or by a group of rabbonim.
    Lemaan Achai will be ignored by the talmud torahs, so if they are involved it has to be in the background.
    Unless there is another organization that will get involved like this, it might have to be a group of rabbonim.

  27. What about "Shalom Banayich"?
    I don't know much about it, but it is a charedi org. in bnei brak which deals with the issue.



  28. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it can't be done by individuals, but most people wouldn't be brave enough. It also would take a lot of time and energy.

  29. "Lemaan Achai will be ignored by the talmud torahs, so if they are involved it has to be in the background."

    This sad statement is a good example of what's wrong with some people in our community.

    People support what Lema'an Achai does (and will do for them) but do they financially support Lema'an Achai?

    Their money is kosher to take but don't dare give yours to them.


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