Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time for the truth to come out

After my little brush with Jewish omerta, I was pretty annoyed with the community as a whole.  I'd heard about things like this happening, but I never thought it would happen to me.  One of my staunchest allies, the Professor, told me that it would be a good idea to talk to Rebbetzin Brooklyn.  Tell her everything. 


So, I did.  While the Things were in school last week, I popped over to talk to her.  And a waste of time was had by all.
I started by showing her the order of protection.  The one Builder keeps violating.  Then I told her how I got it. 
The truth is, Builder has a vile temper.  He began to show signs of violence a couple of months before I left.  While he didn't put his hands on me, he was punching walls in frustration.  He even punched an EMT's minivan when the EMT turned on a porta-siren to get Builder to move his double-parked car.  But that was not the only deciding force.  Five days before Pesach, Builder and I got into a huge fight.  Actually, he yelled and tore my kitchen apart while I cowered.  Four hours later, he came home from a late-night renovation job.  And he raped me.
For the past six months, I've tried not to think about it.  Didn't want to talk about it, except to a select few of my allies.  I didn't think I would be believed.  And, unfortunately, I was right.  Rebbetzin Brooklyn was very dismissive.  She told me that anyone could get a restraining order (not true), and that "I was living in HIS house, and I had HIS kids.  Of course he was feeling hurt."  She also told me that while he may have been threatening, he hadn't actually done anything to hurt me (what do you call rape?), and that it was a terrible thing to put someone in jail (because there are so many means at my disposal to enforce this order of protection OTHER than incarceration).  She felt sorry for him because he only got alternate weekends with his kids, and why couldn't we work out joint custody?  (Did I fail to mention that I have a RESTRAINING ORDER against him?)  I kept reiterating that I was terrified of them man, and that all I want was to be left alone.  I also listed all the retaliatory acts he had committed against me:
Trying to have me arrested.
Trying to have one of my best friends arrested.
Having another one of my best friends (who was helping me with the Things) barred from the house AND barred from contact with the girls.
Calling Children's Services and reporting me for child abuse.
Cancelling my phone service.
Even with all that, she still felt sorry for him.  Whatever happened to not taking sides? 
But now, the truth is out.  I may have lost a relationship, and I certainly can't trust my rabbi anymore, but at least now I know where I stand with the community.  And now, I have nothing left to lose.


  1. OMG! Oy, I feel so terrible for you. I've been meaning for so long to comment on what you've been going through, but I had no idea it was so bad. I couldn't not say something now. I had always thought that my leaving the Frum community mentally (but not physically) was for intellectual reasons, but the actual actions of the community weren't so evil or wrong. But now I see that yet another myth is shattered. It is heartbreaking. I wish there were something I could do to help.

    1. You can't judge a community on the actions of a few.

      And Aztec, I feel awful about this! I pray things work out for you! (And that Builder leaves you alone!!!)

  2. The best quote I learned as I was becoming frum was : Do not confuse Jews with Judaism and Torah with Rabbis,
    I have been mulling over what to say to all of this, except that it is so terrible.
    In Brooklyn, you are either an insider, or an outsider. Being a baalat teshuva and Russian, I have always felt like an outsider. You are an outsider, too, but not to the entire klal Yisrael, just to its narrow-minded bunch.
    Make for yourself a new rabbi.
    I pray, pray, pray, that you will build for yourself a new life.
    I am so sorry that you have to deal with all of this.


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