Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Suggested Text for Emails to Ayelet Shaked


Please send emails to the following addresses:

ashaked@knesset.gov.il

sar@justice.gov.il


In the subject line, copy and paste the following:

   לא להסגיר את מלכה לייפר

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mesira XV: Victim-Turned-Predator




It looks like my blogsite is starting to get a bit of attention. And, for a change, I am even getting some comments and feedback. At present, I am in the course of writing another full length post about all the wonderful things that I am learning from these comments and what you can learn from them, too. It is not ready yet but I do want to post this in the meantime.

As I said, I have gotten a minimal but revealing amount of feedback. Aside from the key points that I will make in the upcoming(?) post, right now I need to report that there is definitely one thing that we ought to be very concerned about:
Many, many people who comment do not read the material properly if at all.
And this indicates that probably a good percentage of those who do not comment have this same problem.

To be fair, I considered that perhaps I am the problem. Maybe I do not write my posts clearly. Yet, when I show my posts to people I know and they read all of the words (and/or all related posts) they don’t seem to have any trouble getting it. So what kind of conclusion should I draw from this?

Another thing I have learned is that if there are some preliminary posts to understanding the one I am currently posting, I need to present them in big bold letters. For this post, this is the most important post to read up front:


At the end of this post, I will present a list of other related posts, most of which will be linked to where applicable.

Now, I want this post to be relatively short. So I will only make note of one commenter from my previous post. Her name is Genendy Eisgrau (or Radoff). I did a bit of research about her and discovered that she claims to be a survivor of incestuous sexual abuse. The reason I say “she claims” is not that I don’t believe her but because the one she has been accusing has apparently denied it and, what do I know?

I discovered that she has a blog of her own and that she is very active in Child Abuse prevention organizations. Her blog page says:
Genendy is the founder of Mitzvah L’sapper, and a founding member and former board member of Magen – the Beit Shemesh Child Protection Agency

Genendy was brave enough to comment on my blog post. What she wrote is not so important except for the fact that she obviously does not agree with me. Though she did not say it openly she obviously thinks like the cowboys of The Ox Bow Incident posse. To H*** with law and order – Torahdig or otherwise – and let’s just get on with the hanging extradition.

Also important, is that the comment she wrote inspired this post. Because with this comment, Genendy is telling us that currently she is not a victim. She has become a predator.

It’s common knowledge that victims of sexual abuse often become abusers themselves. But most people do not really understand what this means. Most people think that the abuse cycle involves the exact same type of abuse being played over and over again. So if one has been sexually abused, we will not be surprised to learn he or she may start sexually abusing other people.

This is a big mistake in short-sightedness. Abuse can come in many forms and the emotional trauma of one being subjected to abuse in Form A may cause him or her to become another form of abuser. An easy way to understand this is suppose somebody comes from a warm and loving home with two parents who had excellent shalom bayis. He or she is abused sexually by some manipulative cousin. The pain and scars and emotional mistrust may make this person unstable so that they become an abusive spouse to their kind and loving significant other. Overcritical, distrustful, frigid or whatever.

The person came from a fine home but was a victim of some kind of non-domestic abuse and, as a result, has turned into an abuser in a different department – domestic abuse. Now, the good-hearted spouse is faced with a choice. He or she can promptly write off the marriage, or they can try to invest in getting their spouse the help they require (obviously this requires the cooperation of the abusive spouse). Which path to take depends on what one hopes to accomplish by that path as opposed to the other.

After we know this, we can examine what types of predators a person can become, and to understand that we also may have several options.


Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type A – Sexual

This is the typical situation that we all know and love hate. A person was sexually molested as a child and subsequently resorts to sexually abuse others.

There seems to be a bit of controversy as to how much rachmanus the community should give to such a person. The overwhelming consensus is: none at all. Who cares what kind of background he had? This that he preys on other children is his choice. He deserves to hang as much as anybody. And let’s do it quick.

This is the positon of a lady neighbor in Har Nof (involved in abuse issues)who I consulted with along with many notable people such as Harav Dovid Cohen Shlita, Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Rabbi Shmuel Feurst and 105 other prominent Rabbanim, Reb Dovid Lichtenstein, Rav Y.Y. Rubinstein and many many others.

The lady neighbor was adamant that the predator deserves no rachmanus because he had the option of seeking help instead of becoming a predator.

But…

My other professional psychologist neighbor, R. Yom Tov feels differently, as do I. As I reported in my essay R. Yom Tov told me the following:

·         Most offenders are not psychopaths and have no malicious intent. They are driven by urges that they cannot control.

·         As such, most offenders will continue doing their deeds even after being exposed as long as they are not thwarted from doing so.

·         However, upon being exposed, most offenders from the Orthodox community are exceedingly cooperative to preventative and/or rehabilitative measures.

·         Most offenders are victims of sexual abuse themselves.

·         Of the above, many never received any professional help or offers of professional help and in some cases, they were even thwarted when they sought out help.

That last point is a stopper. It means it cannot always be said that they had the option to get help. And perhaps, the sordid activities that they have been engaging in, is their only way of getting attention so they can finally get some help.

As I have written incessantly, there is no question that if one is an active danger, the danger must be neutralized to protect other people. But if there is no active danger or there are several options on how to neutralize the danger, then our priority must be the option most likely to help the predator as well. In a sense, we owe it to him (or her). The community may be guilty of not protecting them initially and now that they have gone down the dusty trail the community shafts them again by sending them to jail and extraditing them to Australia (essentially killing them all over again) instead of giving them the help that could solve the situation at nobody’s expense.

This is the Torah way but it is not Genendy’s way or Lia Veffer’s way or Manny Waks' way or of anybody that does not think like a Jew.


Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type B – Judicial

This is a victim who has become another type of abuser, not a sexual one. What does he/she abuse?

They abuse the rights of a suspected or potential offender who has not admitted guilt and where there is no physical evidence or objective witnesses or Halachic ne'emanus to support the accusers. They abuse the fact that they cannot succeed in prosecuting the suspect using due process of law.

These victims would not think of molesting another person. This is not in their make-up. They're good folks. The Yetzer Hara gets them from the other side. Quite to the contrary, they become crusaders for the benefit of current victims and join or start child abuse advocacy groups. This alone is more than okay and should be encouraged. Just as long as they "play fair”.

But what happens is that as a result of their abuse, they tend to become over-zealous. They know for certain that they were abused – and they really were – and nobody was able to help them because the offender was too “slick” and he got away scot-free. So in their frustration and in the name of protecting children, they take extreme measures to deny from people who have not yet been proven guilty, the means of defending themselves.

Admittedly, they are fighting an uphill battle because, as I have said in several posts, molesters do not invite spectators. There are usually never any objective eye-witnesses. Often there is no physical evidence. Yet the circumstances make the case believable and, in truth, more often than not, the accused is guilty.

But not often enough. Sometimes the reason that there is not enough evidence is because there is not enough guilt.

Regardless, every suspected molester is entitled to their day in court. No matter what.

But once the advocates have determined that the allegations are true, the Yetzer Hara tells them there is no need to follow the rules. Actually, they ought not follow the rules. The accused is a slick guy who doesn’t leave a trail so we need to find a way to get him (or her)! Halachic and even legal rules become “technicalities”...and obstacles.

They need to level the playing field and so, they “cheat”. They announce in public that this person is a confirmed offender simply because a victim has said so. Usually the accused is not confronted or allowed to speak up – or he is on the run, not because he is a beastie, but because the boy savages are chasing him anyway. Thus begins a slippery slope of accusations and rumors that are unreservedly accepted and the person’s presumption of innocence is destroyed. Nobody is willing to listen to his “side” because, after all, if he is an abuser (which he is denying), he must be a pathological liar so nothing he says should be believed and his denial is not counted. Yet, there is nobody else in positon to deny it besides him. Hence, even if it is a my-word-against-hers situation, the victim is automatically “believable” and the suspected offender is automatically a “liar”.

Children are interviewed by professionals who present leading questions while remaining totally immune from any cross-examination. Usually this is without any representative of the accused present at all. The accused is not shown all or any of the “evidence” and does not know what charges to fight against. Even teenagers or adults are “excused” from testifying in the presence of the accused due to their “trauma” which has still not yet been proven. And we are back to the 1980s witch-hunts.

Of course they may get a fair trial or hearing in Beis din but they have already been branded. Child abuse becomes such a horrific battle cry which creates such a din that no other voice can be heard. When a person is immediately called an "alleged rapist" or "alleged pedophile" nobody ever seems to hear the "alleged" part. 

This is Midas Ha-Din. And I have seen it all!

In a large way, this activity is perpetrated by the altruistic child abuse advocates – people like Manny Waks, Michelle Meyer, Shana Aaronson, Genendy Eisgrau-Radoff, Fiona Sweet-Formiatti, and Lia Veffer (I am assuming that all of them were molested). They actually are truly victims. They know how it feels to see a predator get away. They honestly mean well. BUT… the minute they step out of bounds and push for unsanctioned methods, they have crossed the line from victim to predator.

But this isn’t the half of it.

You may be thinking that this only relates to the “white” zone – the truly innocent suspects which we all agree will be a relatively small group. Not quite.

This relates much more to the “grey zone” – those suspects that may be guilty of some inappropriate behavior but nothing close to what they are being accused of or prosecuted for. This relates to what I wrote in this post about “degrees of abuse” and it was repeated in this one (Conditions 5 and 6).

There is the very light grey, whereas a person did a touch or grasp (“blew in her ear”) with absolutely no vile intent and yet it is misconstrued as something sexual. People have been raked over the coals in such cases for absolutely nothing!

Then there are much darker shades of grey (50 of them?) where someone may have done something even with a lewd intent but it wasn’t anything particularly invasive. Or perhaps something even a bit more serious, but ultimately, even this is portrayed as something that exceeds beyond what they actually did. Thus, while the predator is often truly “guilty” of something, it is not necessarily of what they are accused.

In the Leifer case, assuming that what she did, despite being traumatic and destructive (if true), was nothing Halachically criminal – then she did nothing Halachically criminal. This may be quite unfair to the victim but the honest person must stay within the rules. The predator violates them. To be portrayed as a Lesbian, pedophile, child rapist, and to press for charges along those lines when none of these things actually apply is not a “technicality”. It is slander. The Chofetz Chaim says this expressly. He does not consider one letter of his work a technicality.

Finally, we enter the black zone. Yes, of course, many if not most suspected offenders are truly guilty as charged and have done horrific damage. But, no man (or woman) is an island. Every person is somebody’s son or daughter and may be somebody’s mother or father, wife or husband, sister or brother. Even if the offender is definitely guilty and has it all coming to him, his friends and relatives are not quite as guilty.

Thus, even when they deserve no mercy, their parents or children do. Here again, I am with everybody that protecting potential victims is priority one. However, if it can be carried out in quieter, subtler ways that leave potential victims protected and do not inflict the collateral damage to other innocents, it is incumbent upon us to take that route. This is even if it is more complicated than just calling in the cops and locking them up. I wrote about it at length in this post.

Thus, especially in situations of incest, we hear stories of abused wives and children who are actual victims, begging the rabbanim and powers that be to keep things quiet and not to take extreme measures because taking the high-end prosecution route will do a lot more damage than it will fix. Yet, quite often these do-gooder advocates push for “the maximum” for altruistic reasons and they wind up doing the maximum damage. Atzat Hayetzer!

I have a hunch that this can explain Genendy. Why did Genendy’s family shun her? I am speculating that it was not because nobody else thinks there was an abuser in the family. I think it is because the family felt that it was not in their best interest for this to be brought out into the open. For the sake of the family, let things stay as they are even if we are at risk. But Genendy insisted on doing it anyway.

This is Genendy … and her friends.



Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type C – Financial

I am sure nobody wants to hear this and perhaps everyone saw it coming. This is a victim who turns around and abuses an organization or individual who is not responsible for their ordeal and sues for compensation.

There is not much to elaborate upon here. Obviously, a victim feels hurt and betrayed and has a natural feeling that, “Somebody needs to pay for this.” There is no question that if the offender inflicted damage, be it physical or emotional or whatever, there are grounds to sue him or her for the damages or restitution in a Beis din or perhaps even in a secular court (I am not advocating this – just sayin’). But – gezel and arayos are a person’s lusts. For the first offender it may be arayos but for the second (the victim), it may be gezel.

The victim tends to feel if they can’t get compensation from the true offender they will find someone else. But they must get their due. Ess kimpt mir – I am entitled to it.  

The Yetzer Hara is telling the victim, “Go on. You deserve it. Get some revenge and cash in this world... [so you will get nothing in the next]". And, as such, he transforms the victim into a financial predator.

Do not listen to him. Please. He is the worst molester that there is. And he is looking for vulnerable people to be his next victim. Don't be a victim twice.

Watch out! Listen to me. You probably do not think so but I am your friend. I am the voice of Torah (or so I claim). The Torah is your friend. More than you think. Stay within the Halachic boundaries. Without the Torah, you are one of "them". Don’t play with mesira. Don’t play with gonev ish and lo tasgir. The Chofetz Chaim is your friend. He wants you to live good long days. Listen to him. If you can sue in E”Y go ahead. But don’t cross any big red lines. It won’t be worthwhile. You will lose far more than you gain.

Don’t listen to Manny and Genendy and Fiona and Michelle and Lia. They are not your friends. They are victims turned predators. Don’t become one as well.

סור מרע ועשה טוב, בקש שלום ורדפהו.

So, at the end of the day (and it really is the end of the day), we have learned about three types of victims-turned-predators. Type A, Type B, And Type C.

Which of these deserves the most rachmanus?

The overwhelming consensus is that a Type A VTP (Sexual) deserves no rachmanus at all. For sure, the Type B (Judicial) and Type C (Financial) VTPs believe that the Type A deserves no rachmanus at all.

Likewise, the masses have an outpouring of rachmanus for the Type B and Type C VTP.

I am a very strange creature. I see the world upside down. I believe that the Type A VTP deserves as much rachmanus as is possible under the circumstances. The Type B and Type C VTPs much less so.

Anybody else in my corner? Anyone??




Genendy wrote:

    Some of you see us as victims.

    Some see us as perpetrators.

    We are neither. –

Genendy, I beg to differ. You are both!

YH      





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mesira XIV: We Have to Kill the Beastie!



Author’s note – This is the third and keynote post in a three part series. This post is not intended to be read independent of first two posts. If you haven’t read the earlier posts they are available HERE (scroll down for the earliest post).

I totally encourage and invite comments for or against. However, if you want to write something critical, my advice is to be sure to read the entire post first (actually, the entire series) and make an effort to understand what it says. I am saying this for your benefit.

I grant full permission for any medium to reprint and distribute this blog post in its entirety.



It appears that we are constantly hearing new stories of seksual miscreants within the chareidi community. As such, we are convinced that we are facing an epidemic. Yet, one common characteristic of an epidemic is that sometimes new types of cases come up and are readily [mis]diagnosed as “just another case” when it may not really be so.

I don’t doubt that there is much too much hanky-panky going on and that some of the villains that have been exposed are truly guilty of the allegations. But there is way too much sheker in this world to allow us to take everything that we read and hear (and certainly do not see for ourselves) at face value. Every rumor and news story has to be evaluated for what it says and what it doesn’t say.

The story that I want to discuss is the case of Malka Leifer, the former Headmistress of the Adass school in Australia. I was first inspired to write about it when I saw a post in Rabbi Eidenson’s Daas Torah Blog way back on Friday, June 3. Since then, I have seen many variations of this news item in various media and Rabbi Eidenson has since moved on to discuss other known sex offenders (who may or may not be living two doors away from me).

It took me much research to get a firm grasp on this story and everything that I write about it has been gleaned from copious Internet sources, some more reliable than others. Here is the scoop:

Malka Leifer is an Israeli woman who was recruited by the ultra-Chareidi Adass community in Melbourne, Australia to head the girls’ high school. She came in 2001 bringing the younger five of her eight children. The sources indicate that her husband was only in Australia occasionally.

Around March, 2008, a former student living in E”Y accused Malka Leifer of “sexual” misconduct. When the allegations reached Australia, they were initially met with disbelief. Within a week or two, however, the allegations were intensified. About March 12, an investigation was opened at the school board. A hasty commission (with a beis din) convened and decided to immediately terminate her employment. Within 24 hours, they spirited her and her family out of Australia back to E”Y. 

In 2012, some of the accusers filed criminal complaints in Australia and she was indicted in absentia for 74 counts of “indecent assault” and “rape”. The Australian authorities made a formal request for extradition and Malka Leifer was placed in house arrest in Eretz Yisroel in Sept. 2014. Since then, there have been about 8 or 10 scheduled hearings for extradition but she missed every single one of them claiming to be beset with panic attacks.

The current news item of June 3, 2016 is that an Israeli judge, Amnon Cohen, ruled that she is currently unfit for extradition, that she is to be released from house arrest, her bail money restored, and she must undergo psychiatric treatment for six months. Extradition hearings are now suspended until October 2016.

As to be expected, this ruling caused an uproar among the “accusers”, supporters and child advocacy groups who were bent on her extradition and are calling for her blood.

Kill the beastie. Slit her throat. Spill her blood!

There is currently a petition initiated by the Tzed-ikim – Manny Waks, Michelle Meyer and Fiona Sweet-Formiatti (I do not think she is Jewish) – calling for her extradition. One letter from Change.org reads: "Malka Leifer must face 74 child-sex (emphasis mine – YH) charges in Australia." This petition has 1758 supporters as of this writing.

The second one from Tzedek.org.au (Michelle Meyer and Manny Waks) claims 3365 supporters. The text is much milder “Bring Leifer to Justice” but the description clearly says: But we need your help today. Malka Leifer is still walking free overseas and escaping 74 charges of child sexual assault - it's abhorrent. Please join us today in emailing the Israeli Justice Minister urging for Malka Leifer to be extradited to Melbourne to face charges immediately.

All told, this adds up to over 5100 supporters, most of them Jewish and many of them even mitzvah observant.

5100 consumers that do not know how to think like a Jew!

If you are reading this (and read my previous two posts) and do not recognize what is wrong here – I am sorry to say that you are one of them.  

Before we go on, there is one episode of this drama that I have thus far omitted.

In Sept. 2015, one of the alleged victims was awarded by the Australian Supreme Court a judgment of $1.27M (I assume Australian dollars). Even though Malka Leifer was named in the suit and $150K out of the sum total were an “exemplary charge” against Leifer (exclusively); still, the primary defendant in this suit was the Adass school that employed her. She was not there to challenge any of the accusations, so, naturally, the accusations went unchallenged.

In his ruling, “Justice Jack Rush condemned Leifer, who is challenging extradition proceedings in Israel to face a criminal trial in Melbourne,  as “evil” and “wanton”, and said the school acted “in complete disregard of Leifer’s victims” when  a committee arranged Leifer’s hasty departure from Melbourne to Israel in 2008.”

Such are the facts of the case as I was able to determine from many Internet news sites and some [muck-raker] blogs.

Now it is time to look at this through the eyes of the Chofetz Chaim and those of any kosher Jew.

At this stage, let us use the Julius Caesar approach. I am not [yet] going to suggest that the accused Mrs. Leifer is an innocent shepsel. From the articles I read, taken at face value, there seems to be a significant amount of “raglayim l’davar” to suggest the accusations have merit. For the moment let us not whitewash this accusation one iota. Let us look at her as: Guilty as charged!

What I want to bring out are things that any religious Jew should find disturbing even if she really is guilty as charged.

It goes without saying that I did a lot of work trying to find out as much as possible about this case before I put my neck out to write about it. Some of the things I found were astounding along with some things I didn’t find or almost didn’t find.

One thing that puzzled me is that I could not find a single recent news item anywhere that knew enough about Mrs. Leifer to tell us how old she is, as is the standard in any news story. Eventually, I found one blog post dating back to 2008 which says that she was (in 2008) “believed to be in the late 40s”. We understand from all this that the media does not know a lot about her past.

Why is this important? Because, if this is accurate, it means that she was about forty years old when she first arrived in Australia. Those who understand seksual abuse know that it is almost unheard of for a person to only first become a seksual predator in middle life. Invariably, a middle aged molester is a more advanced younger aged molester. As such, I searched and searched all news items and blogs to find if there were any allegations of any seksual misconduct by the accused prior to 2001. I also looked to see if there were any allegations whatsoever of seksual misconduct subsequent to 2008. This means over the past 8 years.

On both accounts, so far I found nothing! Absolutely nothing!!

Another thing that was very difficult to find – but I finally got it – is that, apparently, she has not admitted to any allegations. In fact, the blog world’s leading source of Lashon Hara/Motzi Shem Rah, Failed Messiah, RIP, wrote as follows in this timeline post:

·         Leifer maintained her innocence and refused to leave.

·         But the next day, Adass members arranged for Leifer's and her whole family's immediate travel to Israel and Leifer flees Australia – apparently because of Gordon's threat to call police.

We also know that there was a civil judgement against her and the school in Australia, but evidently she wasn’t present. So, thus far, she has never stood trial not in a court and not in a beis din and has not been proven guilty of anything.

So, the mindset of any kosher Jew needs to be as follows:

She claims she is innocent and her accusers claim she is guilty. She has absolutely no record of wrongdoing for all of her life outside of the seven years she spent in Australia. She hasn’t stood trial anywhere. We know of no objective witnesses (neemanus) and of no physical evidence (umdena d’muchach) and most likely no individual accusation can be corroborated by a second person of any gender. So, for any specific accusation it’s the single accuser’s word against hers. Since I haven’t the foggiest idea, I should just be patient and wait for more details. In the meantime, every person has a chezkas kashrus.

But if you ask just about anybody who is following this case, they are absolutely convinced that she is guilty. My feeling is that even Rabbi Eidenson thinks so (by virtue of the fact that he made no protest of the situation). After all, she ran. (Well, not really. she was shipped out against her will.) And she refuses to show up in court in Israel. (Would you?) And the Supreme Court in Australia paskened a $1.27 million judgement against her and the school/shul (without her or anyone being available to counter the victims’ claims). So she must be guilty – Raglayim l’davar!

So let’s assume that she is totally guilty. But here is the rub:

The news items indicate that many Jewish people both in Israel and in Australia want her to be extradited back to Australia.

Why?

Is it so that she can boldly defend herself in court and thereby show the world that these allegations are totally baseless so that we can all sleep better at night?

This is not what Manny Waks and Michelle Meyer and Shana Aaronson are saying. No, they want her extradited so she can be turned over to the Australian authorities and stand trial in their court and pay dearly for her unsubstantiated crimes. And they are crying that it is so complicated.

In other words, they want her sent back to Australia so they can immediately mahsser her to the non-Jews. This is so she can be tried for alleged crimes that have no basis in the Torah, in a non-Jewish court using non-Jewish standards which will accept subjective uncorroborated one-witness testimony with no physical evidence whatsoever in order to throw her into a non-Jewish prison for what would probably be the rest of her natural life.

In short, the sole purpose for this extradition is to serve justice! To make the evil Mrs. Leifer a lifer!

Justice must be served! Hang the rustlers. Kill the beastie!

And something bothered me. Very much. Very, very much.

You see, we have a psak pesuka from Harav Hagaon R. Dovid Cohen, Shlita that one can immediately turn over a molester to the police no questions asked. Of course, he did mention something in passing about a consultation for the offender to give him (or her) a chance to defend himself, but let’s not get bogged down in trivialities. When asked why this is permissible, he replied because a molester has a din of a rodef and/or מצער את הצבור.

Let’s buy that.

Likewise, 107 prominent Rabbanim came out with a Kol Koreh that states that one who even suspects child abuse must promptly report it to law enforcement. Why? Because this is called Lo Taamod!

Let’s buy this, too. (Though we may later examine exactly until how old one remains a child from the Torah’s perspective.)

In other words, it is permissible to turn in a molester in order to protect the community members (always: “children”) who are in danger. It is a question of rodef and Lo taamod! It is for protection!

Excuse me, but if I read the news reports correctly, this lady is currently in Eretz Yisroel and has no plans to ever set foot in Australia ever again. They drove her out of the country. There is not a single person in all of Australia that is in danger of her. Where is the rodef? Where is the Lo Taamod??

Why on earth should anybody from Australia want her back for any reason whatsoever? They ran her out. They protected their community. Done.

Now, it may be apropos to discuss how she should be handled in Eretz Yisroel, but to extradite her to Australia for the sole (i.e., exclusive, only) purpose of mahssering her to the non-Jews? And people are “Outraged” that this is not happening!! And the “religious” commenters on the Daas Torah blog and other such publications אשר לא יודעים בין ימינם ושמאלם are sharing in this “outrage” and calling for blood!

Kill the beastie! Kill the pig. Slit her throat! Spill her blood!

Why? To protect who?

Oh, yes, justice must be served. But has anybody besides the accuser(s) seen the “beastie” in action?

Let me repeat - We are talking about sending a frum Jewish woman who keeps mitzvos and kashrus and covers her hair and who claims to be innocent from E”Y to Chutz L”Aretz for the sole purpose of turning her over to non-Jewish authorities! To face trial on their terms and to sit in their jail.

This is not to protect anybody in Australia and it is quite doubtful, at this point, if there is a need to protect anybody here in E”Y. This is strictly for “Justice” (i.e., revenge)!

Are you a Torah observant Jew? Are you not outraged at this ubiquitous consumerist “Outrage”?

So the genie is out of the bottle – מתוך שהותרה מסירה לגויים לצורך פיקוח נפש (רודף) הותרה נמי שלא לצורך פיקוח נפש (כשאינו רודף).

Mitoch she’hutra for what we call a “child molester” or "pedophile" hutra nami for one who is not a “child molester” or "pedophile".

Now that I mentioned “the Genie”, I think I need to dwell on it a bit. I first mentioned “the Genie” in a post I wrote in 2009 in regard to the Markey Bill. This is a proposed bill in the NY State legislature aimed at removing the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Agudas Yisroel opposed the bill for the following reason: 

The bill would open the door for people to sue both perpetrators and institutions for compensation for offenses committed long ago. In practice, however, since perpetrators are usually broke, it won’t be worthwhile for victims to sue them. They will more often vent their wrath against the institutions or organizations that provided the venue for the offense so long ago; in many, if not most, cases, this happened without their being aware of it. From a Halachic standpoint, it is very questionable if the institutions are at fault and should have any liability even if it happened yesterday. How much more so, if the current status and administration personnel of the institution are not the same as at the time of the offense.

In short, this is a bill which, more often than not, would unjustly squeeze money from, and possibly cripple or destroy, reputable institutions and do nothing to punish or discourage perpetrators and to reduce any future abuse. Even if the intent of the bill is to be helpful, the probable result will be needlessly destructive. It makes no sense to support such a bill. I concurred with this position in my post.

Let’s return to our case. As noted, a significant news item related to this case is that last September one of the alleged victims won a $1.27 million judgement. This has served to bolster the feeling of many that the accused is indeed guilty. Most people do not notice that a second lawsuit was dropped. Allegedly, there was an out-of-court settlement. Out-of-court settlements usually mean that the plaintiff’s case had cracks in it.

Yet, there was a large judgement. Against who?

Well, although a part of it (less than 15%) was directly applied to the accused offender – in absentia, the lion’s share was applied to the school (who tried to “pass the buck” to the shul).

I learned many things from this news report. One thing is that the alleged victim is 28 years old in 2015 and is claiming that she was abused from 2003-2006. This means the abuse started when she was 16 years old (other reports said 15) and lasted for four years until she was about 19 (or 18). In all this time, she never formally complained to anybody about the abuse. We will talk more about this later.

All the reports seem to say that the school was not alerted of any wrongdoing by anybody until 2008 and though it may have taken up to two weeks to accept that there was a problem, the school immediately shipped her out of Australia for good, thus protecting the students in the best way possible.

I have not seen anybody reported to have a problem with this judgement. The impression I get is that all of the victim’s advocacy groups and most armchair quarterbacks are applauding it.

Good for these victims!! More power to them!! Use it in good health!! Enjoy all the well-deserved gelt that you ---
fleeced from a school that did you no wrong merely because you couldn’t reek your vengeance on the true perpetrator.

If there was ever any need for proof of the validity of the Agudas Yisroel position that the Markey bill would be used primarily to fleece mostly blameless Yeshivos and organizations, and would not do a tittle to reduce abuse cases, nor would it likely affect past abusers, I could not have found a better true-to-life poster-child example than this case.

Now, everything that I have written to this point is based on the assumption that every allegation took place exactly as described by the accusers and that Malka Leifer is the most evil machashefa who ever walked the earth. That she is a lezbian pedophile and a rapist and a child abuser as so many news items and advocates proclaimed. An incorrigible monster. A menace to society.

I have not whitewashed this story a drop.

And still, there is absolutely no hetter to even think of extraditing this woman to Australia and there is no Halachic justification for the poor abused victims to fleece the school in lieu of restitution from the actual molester.

The truth is that I honestly feel that there is a basis to these allegations. When eight to ten adult women give similar accounts of molestation, it is hard dismiss it out of hand.

Note, I did not write that I “believe” that the charges are true or that I “think” the charges are true, just that I feel that they are true. It’s just a feeling.

Evidently, this feeling is shared by many, many more people who know nothing more than what they read in the Internet. Yet, most members of The Ox Bow Incident posse felt that Donald Martin was a cattle rustler and the entire jury in To Kill a Mockingbird felt that Tom Robinson was a rapist. And a whole island full of boys “knew” there was a “beastie”. But they were wrong.

Only happens in fiction. Right?

The problem is that we Jews have Halachos that tell us that we are not allowed to rely on our feelings to prosecute anybody in any form. Our feelings may not be accurate. Consumers rely on their feelings. Not on what they know to be true.

We cannot be consumers. We cannot treat feelings as a given. In extreme cases we can rely on them to protect, but not to prosecute.

So, let’s put aside our feelings and think about this like a Jew or, as Rav Y. D. Soloveitchik, ZT”L might say, like a Halachic Man. And don’t forget the Chofetz Chaim who, aside from telling us that to be dan l’kaf zechus is an obligation, he also tells us the criteria for being malshin. Among these is: Not to embellish the truth.

So let’s look at the truth from the Torah’s eyes and do a little bit of “whitewashing”. Note – At this point I am still maintaining that all the allegations are true!

Who is Malka Leifer?

Is she a pedophile?

No. A pedophile is one who has a primary or exclusive seksual attraction toward pre-pubescent children. Nobody has even accused her of abusing anybody under the age of 15.

Is she a sex offender by Torah standards?

Ironic as it seems, intimate activity between grown females does not fall under the classification of a seksual act.

Is she a transgressor of any serious Torah prohibitions ben Adam L’Makom?

Not really. The Rambam that we quoted in the last post says there is no explicit Torah prohibition for this behavior. Though it does call for makkos mardus.

Is she a rapist?

There are two problems with applying the term “rape”. One is that it implies a forbidden seksual act and, by Torah standards, female intimacy does not really qualify. The second is that it implies physical coercion (certainly by the Torah’s definition). Although this case involves unsolicited “touching” and intimidation or manipulation of very naïve and vulnerable teenagers, there was no claim of actual coercion.

So, is she a “Child sex abuser”?

Thus far we have established that from a Torah perspective there were no “children” and there was no “sex” involved. Also no physical coercion. So, not really. From a Western standpoint where one can be called a “child” (and thus be absolved from personal responsibility) way past puberty, and where any intimate act is considered “sex”, and where any form of duress is called “coercion”, the term will fit.

Is she a confirmed or “serial” sex predator?

As I wrote, I have yet to find a single report of any kind of molestation prior to 2003 nor subsequent to 2008. Until proven otherwise, the answer is no.

Is she a lezbian?

It appears that all of this activity happened only in Australia and was very likely a result of unfulfilled intimate urges due to her husband being constantly absent. Thus, it was probably only a substitute for the preferred but lacking heteroseksual intimacy. So the answer is no.

So, after all this, all of the news reports and blogs that embellish the story with descriptions of Mrs. Leifer as a “pedophile”, “rapist”, “lesbian”, or “child sex abuser” are more or less false. There is no indication that any of these descriptions are applicable.

So far, I still haven’t even suggested that the allegations themselves are untrue.

At this stage, I want to stick in one piece of limud zechus. This is a known fact that I wrote about in previous posts. A large percentage of seksual “predators”, if not the majority, were themselves victims of abuse. With this in mind, I have written previously that even confirmed predators need to be treated with this consideration. Of course, we may need to put this consideration on the back burner when the welfare of others is at stake, but to repeat the main point of this entire post: the welfare of others is not at stake in this case.

After we know all this, we can perhaps shed some light on Mrs. Leifer and this is my personal take. Mrs. Leifer was a tough lady on the outside but a somewhat troubled and very insecure person on the inside. Perhaps she had a history of being abused herself. She probably initially thought she could handle the loneliness of being overseas and of rarely seeing her husband but it eventually overwhelmed her and she was too ashamed to quit or to demand more availability from her husband. The students were indeed naïve and vulnerable and thus she indeed turned into a temporary molester and manipulated them. Still and all, none of this involved transgressing or causing the girls to transgress any severe issurim of the Torah. Also, though legally minors, they were still not children and they were still not forced. They played an active role in this drama. A passive one but an active one nonetheless. I will expound on this part later.

This obviously does not exonerate her behavior but it is something to consider when we think how appropriate it is to send her back to Australia to be treated like the lesbian, pedophile, rapist, serial sex offender and sinner that she clearly is not.

I’m not done.

All of this is still assuming that all of the allegations are 100% true.

But are they? What do we know about the veracity of the allegations?

Did she confess to any wrongdoing?

No she did not.

Did she run away?

According to famed schmutz-raker Failed Messiah, “Leifer maintained her innocence and refused to leave.” Trust me, when he writes something that isn’t schmutz, you can believe it.

Was she proven guilty in any court or beis din?

She has not attended either one.

Are there any objective witnesses?

No news item seemed to say that there are.

Is there any physical evidence?

How can there possibly be?

So, then, what is there?

Nothing at all except for the tearful testimony of the several victims, three of whom are sisters.

Are there any two victims that can testify to any given event to corroborate the testimony?

Could be, but nothing as such was reported. And if there are, the questions that I pose further on about their prolonged silence is only magnified.

So – what do we know about these victims?

In general we know scant little. The most we know about are the three sisters because they are the ones that sued the school.

Are they nice frum eidel girls that came from a happy healthy loving home whose innocence was suddenly snatched away by this “wanton, evil” woman?

They may have been nice and frum and eidel but it is questionable how innocent. From The Age (Victoria): The former student, now 27, told the court she was brought up in a family dominated by her physically abusive mother and that Mrs Leifer offered to help her.
And again: The alleged victim said she feared Mrs Leifer would tell others in the ultra-orthodox Adass community about her abusive home life, which would damage her marriage prospects.

And in this tabloid (UK Daily Mail): Leifer allegedly began grooming the student, using the girl’s physically abusive home life as a way to get close to her, Victoria’s Supreme Court heard this week.

Okay, Houston, we have a problem. Evidently, according to these news-rags, these girls had a physically abusive mother (or “home life”). While this does not mitigate the abusiveness of Mrs. Leifer, it does add another player into the mix. Firstly, let me restate the rule of b’chlal ma'atayim manna – included into 200 is 100. This means that there is no such thing as only physical abuse at the hands of a parent. If a parent physically abuses a child, there is inevitably emotional abuse in the package. So these two sources, if they can be believed, indicate that these three girls were already subject to physical and emotional abuse at home.

At what age? Well, if one has an abusive parent, it usually is in effect from day one. So, for instance, these girls were seemingly abused – perhaps not seksually, but at least physically and emotionally - by their mother continuously when they were three years old and when they were six years old, and when they were nine, and twelve, etc. And now, at 15, comes Mrs. Leifer and takes advantage of the situation.

So, without absolving any blame due to Malka Leifer, I still have an issue in the Age Victoria article: The court heard on Wednesday that the former student's abuse started in 2002, when she was 15, and as a result had suffered flashbacks, nightmares, persistent depression, post traumatic stress disorder and at one point was suicidal.

All of the above indicates that these girls may have come from troubled backgrounds. They may have been troubled girls for many years before they come into the clutches of the wicked schoolmistress. Now, it is quite likely that the added abuse by Mrs. Leifer brought things to a climax as the gemara tells us (Baba Kamma 51a): If one digs a pit 9 tefachim (not enough to cause death of an animal) and a second comes and completes it to 10 tefachim (capable of causing death), the second digger is liable. So, based on this, Mrs. Leifer should carry the full brunt of the damage.

Nevertheless, this only applies if the first digger had not already achieved the 10-tefach death-capable mark. However, if the first digger initially dug the pit a full 10 tefachim and the second one only added to that amount, they are equally liable.

So before we determine if the abuse from Mrs. Leifer is what brought the "pit to its death-mark” and "as a result" brought about the “flashbacks, nightmares, PTSD, and suicidal [tendencies]”, we must determine if the pit was not already at the death mark from the initial abuse that took place at home. Perhaps there should be another $150K “exemplary charge” against the mother of the girls??

I am only half kidding. As I wrote in previous posts, I am not unfamiliar with cases of covering up domestic abuse by blaming someone else from outside the home. You know who else did just that? Mayella Ewell. Her father beat her up and she swore to the court that it was Tom Robinson (fiction again, right?)

And even if the second person is indeed blameworthy, the question becomes: is the second person as blameworthy as he or she is being made out to be?

A few more questions about these victims.

How old were they?

Some reports just approximated 15-16 years old. But the report about the $1.27M judgement revealed a lot more. It said that the victim, now 28 (in 2015) was contending she was abused from 2003-2006. This works out to four years from 16-19 even though another report indicates more like 15-18. One report said, “Until she was married.”

Four years?? Four years of abuse?? The abuse was not a solitary incident nor a string of solitary incidents. It was four years of continuous abuse. And she (or her sisters) told nobody?

Did they tell their own mother?

Two possibilities, either they did or they didn’t. If they didn’t - why not? The easy answer would be that their relationship with their mother was strained (due to past abuse) and they couldn’t or wouldn’t. The other possibility is that they did tell her and she didn’t believe them or act on it. Both possibilities run along the same track and indirectly make the mother an accessory to the abuse.

Did they tell the school or anybody else?

It doesn’t look like it. And why not?

The news items present us with a myriad explanations:

(1)        Naiveté - They were from such a sheltered environment cut off from all outside influences that they had no clue what was happening.

(2)        Brainwashing – They were told that this is a preparation for marriage and a worthy act.

(3)        Insecurity – They did not think they would be believed.

(4)        Shame – It would hinder their prospects for shidduchim.

(5)        Fear of G-d – They did not want to stumble in Lashon Hara and Mesira

(6)        Fear of [Wo]Man (Intimidation) - As one report wrote, Mrs. Leifer threatened to reveal her “abusive home” and ruin her shidduch prospects.

And we can add to the above:

(7)        Complacency – After a while they just got used to it.

All of these are presented in the press (perhaps not #7) and they all make sense. They are all valid explanations for their silence. However, explanations are not always excuses.

Note that there is a conflict between explanations 1-2 to explanations 3-7. Explanations 1-2 suggest the victim(s) had no idea that she was doing anything forbidden, but explanations 3-7 suggest that she was quite aware that there is something wrong and they kept quiet anyway. Up to the age of 18 and beyond!

So she (or they) kept silent. For four years. They went along with Mrs. Leifer and complied with her antics. It was certainly for all the above reasons, but they complied with her nonetheless. They basically unwittingly collaborated with their abuser.

This condition is called: Co-dependency. Co-dependency is a form of abuse and victimization but the victim herself plays a part in it.

I do not want to judge but I do want to question:

Until what age is it acceptable to be naïve and brainwashed? At what point is a person obligated to realize that if he/she does not scream out he/she is giving tacit consent to what is happening to them?

The Torah (Devarim 22:24) tells us that the 12 year old na’ara is liable (as far as death) for the fact that she didn’t scream. She is guilty because she did not alert anybody. These victims began at 15 or 16 but they let this business go on until 18 or 19. They let it go on.

Now, I really do not mean to call the victims “guilty”. I fully sympathize with them for the [alleged] abuse itself and the fear and shame and insecurity and confusion that compelled them to keep silent. Their pain and silence can be understood and accepted...until they use the silence as a weapon!

It is one thing to invoke these explanations to defend one’s inactions, but it is quite another to use them to incriminate another’s.

So let’s talk about the school. What did the school contribute to this drama?

There is no evidence that the school administration was aware of anything until a few days before she was shipped back to E”Y. And why should they? The girls did not tell the school officials, they did not even tell their own parents.

Incidentally, one schmutz-raker blog that calls itself Frum Follies was ardently searching for some proof that the school knew about it beforehand. The best he could come up with was a very vague statement in a court document that said: she confirmed the plaintiff’s allegations with the plaintiff’s sister and a person at the School. 
I don’t think there is any proof in this statement. Firstly, this record is the testimony of the plaintiff and to be 'proof', this has to come from a source other than the uncorroborated word of the plaintiff. Moreover, we are not clear exactly who was this "person at the school”, what exactly this person “confirmed”, when this confirmation took place, or even if “a person at the school” implies an additional person other than the plaintiff’s sister. Outside of this, I have not found anything at all to suggest that the school knew anything before March of 2008 and neither has he.

Did Mrs. Leifer have any past history of accusations which the school should have checked into?

Nothing of the kind was reported.

What did the school do as soon as the allegations broke out?

They did the best possible thing they could do for the entire Jewish community – they shipped Mrs. Leifer out of Australia ASAP.

Of course, this did make it a bit difficult to administer “justice”. Evidently, at least 5100 people and all of the victims think that “justice” is more important than protecting potential victims.

Let’s kill the rodef even if it won’t save the nirdaf!!

So the “victims”, who are now in their mid-20s, no longer need protection. Yet, it seems that they must have “justice” (i.e., compen$ation). Tzedek, tzedek tirdof. They must pursue “justice” no matter what it takes. Unfortunately for them, they cannot obtain compensation “justice” from the actual predator, Malka Leifer, so they have to go to the Supreme Kangaroo Kourt and sue the school for the abuse they suffered by their not telling the school what was going on!

They are blaming the school for their (and their parents’) own silence! And they are blaming the school for doing the right thing when they were informed – for getting rid of the danger!

Mind-boggling.

And for this “infraction”, they feel justified in taking $1.27 million from the school or, subsequently, from the community or whoever will be footing the bill (which will not be Malka Leifer).

Yes, Justice Jack Rush (is he Jewish?) came down hard on that school. For what? Was it for enabling and protecting the “wanton, evil” Malka Leifer for seven years? No sir-ee. Nobody could prove that. He came down on them for “not acting in the victims’ interest” by promptly skirting Mrs. Leifer overseas! In Kangaroo logic, it was in the victims’ best interest for the school not to ship her off! And the school was so apologetic and in denial of the fact that they arranged for her departure.

Can somebody explain this to me? (I am sorry, I can only think like a Jew.) The school should put out ads in every paper: Yes, we paid to ship her off. It was the right thing to do! And they should be commended for it, not punished.

Was everything that the victims told Justice Rush the unadulterated truth?

Not likely. My experience is that when the purse strings are loosening, details of a story tend to change. Amazingly, cases of mild distress evolve into tales of excruciating atrocities the moment it ups the ante. There was nobody present who could contradict the victim on any “details” and the secular courts are quick to accept uncorroborated testimony from tearful victims. I can think up 1.27 million reasons for this "victim" to bend a few facts.

I am sorry to say, Miss Ewell, or “Deborah” or “Rebecca”, or whoever you are, but when the cash register is ringing, victimhood stops here.

So my final question about the accusers:

Are they Nogeah b’eidusan?

Very much so.

So this concludes the “whitewash” segment of this post. It is merely food for thought and you are entitled to disregard the entire segment.

After all of this we are left with three possibilities:

(1) Malka Leifer is the exclusive villain

(2) Malka Leifer is one villain out of a group (albeit the “active” ingredient)

(3) Malka Leifer is not a villain at all.

Most of us probably feel that either 1 or 2 is applicable, but we are not a bunch of cowboys or boy savages. We are Jews. We cannot act on our feelings, only on what we know.

So let’s go back to what is indisputable:

We have established that Malka Leifer is not a pedophile. There are no grounds to say that she is lezbian. There are no witnesses to her wrongdoing. She confessed to nothing. Her alleged deeds do not transgress any severe issurei Torah. Her victims were not physically forced. They were teen-agers, not children. At worst she is an unscrupulous sex fiend. And she is not a threat to anybody in Australia and hasn’t been one for 8 years. She cannot be called a rodef. There is no sakana in Australia at present.

As such, I am writing the following as halacha l’maasa (al pi darko shel HaChofetz Chaim) even if she is fully guilty of everything her accusers claim and I don’t care what any other Rav paskens:

There is no heter whatsoever to extradite a Jewish woman to Australia. Period. As such, if any Jew whatsoever actively participates, aids or abets, calls for or even comments in a blog or news post in favor of extraditing this woman to Australia:

·         They will carry the full brunt of issur mesira including losing their chelek in Olam Haba

·         They are in violation of כי יגנב נפש מאחיו והתעמר בו ומכרו which is the primary לא תגנוב of the Ten Commandments and a potential חיוב מיתה.

·         They are in violation of לא תסגיר עבד – (Gittin 45b)

·         Anybody who testifies against her in the Kangaroo court down under is in violation of לא יקום עד אחד באיש since it is virtually impossible that there are two witnesses to any given event.

I have absolutely no doubt that the Chofetz Chaim would agree with me and add to this list.

Hence:

·         The accusers must immediately withdraw all criminal charges in Australia against Malka Leifer.

·         They must urge the Australian authorities to terminate the extradition request.

·         They must inform the authorities that in the event that Mrs. Leifer is brought back to Australia, they will not cooperate with the prosecution and they will not testify at trial.

·         If they indeed collected any monetary awards from anybody other than Mrs. Leifer, they must return it forthwith.

·         If they do not do this voluntarily, the school should call the accusers to a Din Torah and compel them to either prove that the school is responsible for personal damages al pi din or to renounce the monetary award of the court.

·         Manny Waks, Michelle Meyer, and Fiona Sweet-Formiatti must terminate and withdraw all petitions.

·         Any Jew who signed a petition must send an email (click HERE) to Ayelet Shaked (ashaked@knesset.gov.il) and to Avichai Mandelblit (if you can find his email) urging them to drop all extradition proceedings (or to freeze them indefinitely).

·         The Attorney General of E”Y, if he is shomer Torah as he appears, must do everything in his power to block extradition if it costs him his job.

·         All criminal or monetary complaints against Mrs. Leifer must be filed exclusively in Eretz Yisroel. We have plenty of Batei Dinim here and kangaroo courts that put Australia’s to shame – just ask Meir Ettinger! We also have some wonderful prisons (if it comes to that, R”L) where she can keep Shabbos and Yom tov and cover her hair and even get Glatt Kosher food (Bedatz) and everything!

I will have no active part in this חילול השם.

Call me a pompous hothead, radical, rabble rouser, lunatic, nutcase, crankshaft, meshugenah, am haaretz, Chossid shoteh, misnaged shoteh, or anything you want (you won’t be the first, just no death threats, please). But…

…ignore my words at your own peril, Shmerel.

Because anybody who conspires to send this woman Down Under is going down under a lot faster and further than she is.


כי נבלה עשתה בישראל וכן לא יעשה