The Haredim take a hard line against such evils as “2-4 beats and other rock and disco beats;” the “improper” use of electric bass, guitars and saxophone”. Mordechai Bloi of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education put it in perhaps less than perfectly felicitious terms:

We might be able to adopt Bach or Beethoven, music with class, but not goyishe African music and beats. We haredim want to protect ourselves from what we see as negative foreign influences. We are trying to maintain our own authentic music styles. We admit that times are changing, but we are trying to stay loyal to our roots.

In other news, an investigator into sex abuse in the Haredi community, Dr. Benzion Twerski, was intimidated out of the job, claiming that

For several days, I was approached by individuals, some stating that they would cross the street if they were to meet me while walking with their children…Others told me that they would not accept my child into their class if assigned. Others used euphemisms that I refuse to repeat. Family members were likewise confronted by all sorts of comments and phone calls.
My married children had been told to fear ever getting shidduchim for their children. Basically, I was left to choose between abandoning my family for this mission or to take the painful step that I did.

The investigator goes but the investigation goes on.

Muffti’s got 99 problems but the Haredim ain’t one.

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  • Wait. Stop. I’m very confused.

    Tell me if I have this correct: A prominent Orthodox psychologist is working with a task force made up of various experts to help prevent child abuse in the Orthodox world. Then, instead of thanking him for helping them fight a serious problem in their community they are ostrasizing him?
    So that means either:
    1) They are in complete denial that there is any child abuse in their community; or,
    2) They are in favor of the child abuse in their community; or
    3) They are not in favor or denial of it, but they are more worried about how addressing the issue might embarass them in front of the goyim,.
    Therefore, keeping up the appearance that they are more pious than the goyim is more important to them than the health and safety of thei own children.
    Sounds sorta like the terrorists who sacrifice their children in suicide bombings to make a religious statement.

    I just really can’t wrap my brain around this one at all…it just defies all common sense and flies in the face of all logic that says that communities want to address and correct problems that challenge them so as to become bettter communities.

    But guitar beats… that needs to be addressed immediately and vigourously….it reminds me of mother’s who don’t want to to give their teenage daughters sex education in high school and then wind up grandmothers at age 45.

  • Or 4) The problem exists, but isn’t as rampant as some might think, and the particular way it’s being dealt with by the non-Hareidi community does more harm than necessary.

    What if I were to launch a public investigation into the private lives of all the Jewlicious staff? I bet I’d uncover one or two real problems, but probably a host of other things that- although bad- don’t warrant public scrutiny.

    The bottom line is that the world in general, and this includes the Jewish world- get very emotional about imperfections in the Hareidi world, and tend to make issues out of things that should be left private.

    There’s no question that true problems exist in some level, and need to be dealt with seriously, but that effort needs to come in a way which has the least negative side effects. Namely- it must come from within the court system of the Hareidi community. The Judges need to be the only ones considering these people as guilty at this time, and the process of bringing them to court should be within the confines of Derech Eretz and Halacha.

  • Just to clarify: you are saying “leave any possible cases of sex abuse in the Hareidi world private because the non-Hareidi world’s intevention into the unknown ways of their community does more harm than good”.

    If the problem exists but is not rampant, is it o.k. to allow those 5 or 10 children lives to be ruined by what adults are doing to them? What happened to “If you save even one life it is as if you have saved the whole world” ethic?

    Sex abuse of children is an issue that is in the public domain.

    Let’s go back:
    This is the U.S.A. , specifically, New York.
    There are child protective services in place by the government.
    The laws of the land are NOT “Derech Eretz and Halacah”.
    The “laws of the land” are written by the State and Federal Legislatures, members of whom are elected by the public.
    We have a public Judiciary System.

    If the Haradi community is excluded from the scrutiny of the U.S. State and Federal laws, then don’t we have to exclude the Inuit community from that scrutiny? Don’t the Wiccans deserve that same privacy? The rastafarians? Maybe the Catholic community wants some privacy to do their own thing?

    The Haredi are priviledged to practice their religion within the laws of the U.S.A. , they do not have the priviledge to exempt themselves from our Judiciary system, even if they have their own.

    If they want to exempt themselves from the laws of the U.S. and it’s judiaciary system then they should move someplace where they can be self-governing. Many lives were lost in the American Revolutionary War that lead to the 13 American colonies declaring their independence from Great Britain.

    Our government has chosen to allow the Native Americans to be self-governing to some extent as reparation for overtaking their land. Do we owe that same right to self-govern to the Haraedis or any other segment of our society.

    What you are essentially saying Anon, is “let the government leave us alone to run our own affairs, let them pick on some other, more corrupt segment, we want to live on their land and do our own thing. We want them to build us roads, bridges , electricity, communication infrastructures, fire and police protection, etc…but when it comes to molesting our children, we know better how to handle that….” Your argument holds absolutely no logic and it is mind-boggling to me. Absolutely incomprehensible. Then you wonder why the Jews were exiled from every country they ever tried to settle in ? Please take your “Derech Eretz and Halacha” and get the fuck out of the U.S.A if you don’t want to follow the Constitution. Otherwise, guess what, the government get to scrutinizes you and prosecute you for any and all crimes you commit.

    If the Orthodox want to harrass and ostrasize any reformers of their own kind who are trying to help them, that’s their very sad loss. Dr. Twerski’s expertise would probably be welcomed and very much appreciated by any task force set up to help any other ethnic group combat this problem. I’m glad he dropped out. You can’t help people who don’t want to be helped, but you can prosecute them if they then do something illegal as a result of the their problem.

    I can assure you the parents at the Fudnamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the polygamous ranch in Texas didn’t appreciate the “public scrutiny” of their culture very much.

    Dishing dirt on the dirty private lives of private bloggers could possibley border on libel or slander, but if a private person chose to do so and found out something about someone that they felt needed to prosecuted under state or federal law, they could “drop a dime” on that person if they wanted to.

    I think I better dance now.

  • Anon, if you find evidence of those prostitutes that CK and Esther buried in Froylein’s backyard after the Middle got too frisky with the erotic asphyxiation, than perhaps you should investigate. One may balk but the claimed problem was that there is a high degree of abuse that is known about and that a blind eye is being turned which requires the need for an investigation. In any case, it’s an orthodox jew (Dov Hikind) calilng for the task force after claiming hundreds of complaints were amassed and another orthodox jew was picked to run it. If you intimidate the latter of the force and get someone from well outside the community, it strikes muffti that you only have yourself to blame.

    Or you could of course try taking it out on God.

    For what it’s worth, it looks like Twerski may share your view as one factor that led him to quit seems to be that the issue was beign dealt with too publicly.

  • Improper use of beats is the problem Y-Love is running into – “Dissing styles of music is counterproductive to the Jewish community,” Jordan said. “I have faith that in the future it will change, and all Jewish music will be seen as equally Jewish no matter what style it happens to be in.”

  • So, I’m guessing they’re not fans of Avraham Fried, MBD, Matisyahu, Moshav Band, 8th Day, SoulFarm, etc.?

  • As a Catholic living in Boston, I can tell you we wrote the book on how not to handle clergy sexual abuse. (Well, lessons were learned by the end, but at incalculable cost.) One thing is for certain: whether chutzpah persuades you or not, the genie is already out of the bottle.

    All it will take is one plaintiff, one enterprising lawyer, a $300 filing fee– or here, maybe a public official– and an internal solution is history. The graphic details will be all over the Post on a daily basis.

    The truth, all the shocking, repellent details, will out. Nothing, of course, can be done about the past (apart from justly compensating victims). However, the community will start getting graded on how it responds. (As the bromide has it, the coverup is always worse than the crime.) In this regard, the community had better choose wisely. Here in Boston, for a period of 2-3 years, the Church consistently chose the worst option available to it– deepening the pain of victims and doing far more damage to its prestige than the abuse itself.

    The perpetrators will have to take their medicine, a price will have to be paid, and many trusting, deferential, faithful people will have their faith shaken. This is the tragic and inescapable reality. This can’t be avoided.

    But there is bad and there’s worse, and the private approach Anon suggests seems unlikely to be seen by everyone– including public authorities and the non-orthodox community– as satisfactory. A consensus must be arrived at that the truth is out, responsibility has been taken, victims have been acknowledged and helped, and measures implemented to keep (as best one can) this awful misconduct from happening again. That’s not going to happen behind closed doors.

  • Twerski quit because the harrassment he and his family could suffer are unbearable. Speaking as an ostracized member of the community here in Plifton I can tell you that I have had “rasha” written on my car, my front door step, my mailbox thrown in the garbage and dirt swept under my front door because I FINALLY (after 3 years of complaining) dropped the dime on my Kollel landlord about the illegal 3rd he built above me. The City had the illegal tenant (a very lovely orthodox woman who now hates me alot) evicted with 12 hours.

    I am moving outside the eruv on Friday so I get a big mazel tov. I will be close enough for my kids to go back and forth between me and my ex without having to live above orthodox jews who collect government assistance while he runs an import/export business to Israel from his house. ( he imports diapers and export potato chips for you Seinfeld fans).

    I thing we will be seeing a kinder, sweeter Chutzpah for the new year.

    Anyway, the “no shidduch” threat is a biggie. Twerski needed to protect his children. My children are going to go out to find their own soul mates someday. Hopefully they will be more successful than I was.

    Tom, the essential difference here between what happened with the Catholic Church and the Haredim is at least the Catholics agree to abide by the Court system of the U.S. It is against Jewish law to sue a fellow Jew in civil court unless they receive a ruling from the Jewish Court that the defendant is not recognized as a a law abiding Jew.

    When my landlord wanted to sue me in Housing Court for withholding my rent first he had to send me a letter in Yiddish from a Bais Din in New Square stating that I was in violation of the Bais Din. The fact that the Bais Din did not notify me before they made this decision or allow me to participate in the process of “decertifying ” me…well, that’s the evolved Halakic Court system for you.

    Tom, your fascination with Jews is sicker than my Tom Jones fetish. If I was Catholica and living in Boston I’d only want to blog about the Red Sox, beer and lobster.

  • chutzpah, you assume facts not in evidence, as we say in the trade. And you forgot about the Patriots.

  • You are probably correct about that. I think we share the same sick fascination with these very strange people who call themselves “Chosen”.

    I keep saying I’m going to find a different topic to blog about and it keeps pulling me back in.

    So how ’bout them Patriots?

  • No Tom Brady… Not good.

    I’m actually devoting most of my blog time these days to the soap opera that is our election. With characteristic generosity of spirit, I’ve tried to avoid dumping that crap on the heads of people here.

  • Hmmm. The fascinating part of Bloi’s statement is the apparent new-found acceptance of western classical music. Handel, anyone?

  • Here Anon should this have been left in private hands because it was only 6 kids?

    Nish kefalach, right?

    I’m starting to think compounds and eruvs should be illegal, and I am a person who has always believed in small, hands-off government on both the Federal and State level.