Thursday, May 10, 2012

What did I sign up for--Abuse and cover up

The New York Times has an article today about the Orthodox community's cover-up of sexual abuse and molestation.  According to the article, those who report suspected molesters to the authorities are harassed repeatedly by other community members.  Some have even lost homes and jobs over this.  Meanwhile, the molesters themselves keep their positions and their honor intact.
For all our knowledge, we haven't come very far.  In some ways, we've gone backwards.
The Talmud recounts the famous story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.  (According to the Talmud, this story is why the Second Temple was destroyed.)  A man had a friend named Kamtza and an enemy named Bar Kamtza.  By some mix-up, he accidentally invited Bar Kamtza to a party he was having.  When Bar Kamtza arrived, the host threw him out.  Bar Kamtza offered to pay for the whole party if he could stay and be spared the humiliation of being evicted.  However, the host refused, and threw him out anyway.  Bar Kamtza was angry--not at his host, but at the rabbis at the party who stood by and did not intervene.  So, he got back at the entire Jewish community.  He went to the Romans and told them that the Jews would not accept a sacrifice offered by the emperor.  The emperor sent a bull, but Bar Kamtza cut its lip, blemishing the animal and making it unfit for sacrifice.  When the animal was refused, the Romans retaliated by declaring war on the Jews and destroying the Temple.
In a lot of ways, we are no different.  We stand by silent while our own members are dishonored and humiliated.  We then turn it around and blame them.  The only difference is that we will not be destroyed by an outside authority, but from within.
In the meantime, for a group that claims to value families and children, we are permitting the murder of the souls of hundreds of children.  No one ever gets past abuse.  Especially when the abuser seems to have the community's stamp of approval.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'm not Monty Python. I hate SPAM.