Shanda: The incidents of child sexual abuse that have become illuminated in recent years, among mostly orthodox and Hasidic sects among Jewish males sicken me. The July 20, 2010 The Boston Globe front page article (Link below) about a child sex abuse case allegedly committed by a teacher and a rabbi within the employ of Maimonides, a prestigious Jewish day school, and elsewhere with its attendant details made me want to regurgitate my lunch possibly to purge this contemptible sin from our collective souls. Yes, I as a Jew feel a sense of shanda (shame) as if the abuse stains our entire Jewish community. I feel a sense of utter outrage at the abnormal abuser but I feel even more outrage at a community and educational institution whose hierarchy possibly did not want to BE aware or, if aware, looked the other way when this pathological behavior was perpetrated upon the innocent. We have heard this tune before, as the article points out, the all familiar refrain the Catholic Church sang, hoping a few years would dull its impact and make it go somewhere else or simply just fade away. A few years passing does NOT dull its impact. It, rather, in my opinion, makes its impact worse. The child is rarely rid of its deleterious impact on his psyche and will probably always have at least a part of this monkey on his back.
It is a fact that this deviant behavior is a part of the human condition and that a Jew who allegedly committed these horrible crimes surely does not mean all Jews should be indicted for it. MOST, I dare say, would never even THINK of doing such a thing. And yet I feel the sting and I feel ashamed that someone within our ranks, no mater what Judaic sect he occupies, may have done these dastardly acts and worse, still, that others may have known and could let such monstrous things happen without taking appropriate action. That it allegedly happened at the hands of a teacher at a Jewish school which is supposedly one of our finest Jewish institutions makes me sickened even more.
One must now act accordingly using the road map that the Catholic Church so courteously but inadvertently bestowed upon us which clearly shows how NOT to act when pedophile sex abuse happens within the walls of an institution. A child MUST be encouraged NOT discouraged to report it to an authority and the authority must NEVER be blind to its occurrence. The authority should contact local police and a proper investigation should ensue. This should be done secularly and NOT by the community within which the abuse took place. We live in a country of secular LAW which screams out to everyone justice, justice, justice!
Shame on you, Maimonides, if you knew about this crime and did nothing. You have committed a grievous sin against your god, against your people, against the state but most of all against the victims who will probably have to suffer the consequences of these rancid acts, sadly, for the rest of their lives.