- Emes veEmunah criticizes Dov Hikind for not releasing the names of molesters, and calls on him to "do the right thing." The thing is, Hikind could have simply not sought out these names. He did so from the victims with their presumption that he would not simply be blabbing those names (something which could backfire on the victims), but would use it to cause positive change. While he may not have attorney-client privilege, or the equivalent for clergy, the fact is that it took his courage and initiative to get himself into this situation. So I believe that he is ethically due more than a bit of lattitude in how to use it, even though remaining quiet may well allow abusers to continue. And this is not a simple thing to say, but like is not simple. I think this comment there captures the idea nicely:
I know Dov Hikind, and I know that he is an honorable man who doesn't let political expediency get in the way of doing the right thing.
He is in an almost impossible situation right now - a situation, I might add, that he put himself into by actually getting involved and not sitting on his hands, which would have been the easiest thing to do.
The dilemma is this: Either sit on his information, knowing that his not divulging the names could allow molesters to continue their filthy work; or release the names, thus reducing to nil the chance that any other victims from the chassidic community would ever again confide in him on these matters.
I have to think that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that the public is not aware of. Perhaps Mr. Hikind has contacted some of the molesters, and privately let them know that he's on to them.Perhaps he is negotiating different cases on an individual basis. I don't know - I'm only guessing. But knowing Mr. Hikind, I'm sure he didn't just lock the names in a file and forget about them. I'm fairly sure he's up to something, which he probably can't talk about publicly.
All he's asking is that we trust him. Given that he's the first Orthodox leader to tackle the problem head-on, I think that trust is the least that he deserves.
- The Creedmoorer Tznius play. An excerpt:Shprintzy is a rather rebellious, yet popular, 10th grade student in a well known "hymish" girls' school. Not one to conform with tznius rules, she is known for wearing short sleeves and short skirts at simchas as well as for making her uniform skirt hem so high that she has been sent home on several occasions.One day, she is stricken with a horrible infection that causes her to lose her arms and legs, so that, as her well respected principal announces to the class: "Mydlach, for once I want you should know that your friend Shprintzy is dressed tznius."I've seen similar, but intended forthrightly. For example a woman punished with cancer because she was beautiful and did not take steps to conceal it. For this disgusting presentation, for real, see this post at DreamingOfMoshiach. Thus, for example:
Then, the first warning came... one evening while preparing scrambled eggs, the flame underneath the pan burned my hair within a few short seconds. My beautiful long hair was totally burned. I remember while in the hospital and hysterically crying, my father sat next to me and tried comforting me, "Ravital, HaShem performed a miracle for us, you could have gotten completely burned. Please Ravital, change your ways." But I didn't listen, I was 16 years old and within 2 years my hair regrew to its original beauty. I completely forgot the heavenly warning that almost burned me to death. I became even more beautiful and exotic than before and putting on makeup was a daily must.
- A Simple Jew asks whether there is overemphasis on Birchas HaChammah. Rafi G answers.
- And at Life In Israel and DovBear, he asks whether there is any purpose in obtaining rabbinic approval for restricting parental spending on weddings (and subsequent apartment purchase). See the comment section.
- The Jewish Week on Roger Cohen's Willful Ignorance.
- Via Dixie Yid, a video from Oorah, and Moishe Mendlewitz -- "the Atheist Convention in LA." Cute. However, I wonder. The message is (partially) that there is no atheist in a foxhole. And (perhaps partially) that their experiencing of a miraculous salvation turned them around. But that this made the Muslim turn towards Allah and the Christian turn towards Yushke (not mentioned in the video, and they just make it instead his Father in Heaven, shared by Judaism) makes me wonder what exactly the inspirational message is here. Would they similarly show a former Baal-worshipper return towards his worship of molten idols? Is this a generic proof of any and all deities? At least in the narrative in sefer Yonah, all the idolators prayed to their gods to no avail, and
Also, after the video puts belief in evolution and the Big Bang as contrary to belief in God (or rather, that it is fact rather than theory), what are these reformed atheists doing now in terms of these beliefs. Have they been disproven? Is the video asserting that it is an either-or situation, and that Jewish belief precludes belief that evolution exists? Besides being a cute video, I would like to know just what lessons this video is teaching. Since it is a chassid who is the one in-the-know on the plane, and afterwards the Jewish atheist not only becomes religious but dons a streimel, is this asserting that this is the authentic Judaism, together with its associated rejection of evolution, the Big Bang, and secular learning? Or was this just a way of making the transformation more visually stark? Also, it is good to see that they know how to spell atheists. I don't know if there are any atheists in my audience, but what is your take on this video? Are you insulted by it? Amused? Does it speak to you, or the reverse? Who do you think the intended audience is? Frum folks, to make them feel better about their own life choices and perspectives?