Monday, August 3, 2015

Britain to Investigate Police Handling of Abuse Claim Against Ex-Premier Edward Heath

NY Times

Britain’s independent police watchdog agency said on Monday that it would investigate an allegation that the police in Wiltshire had dropped a criminal investigation in the 1990s when the subject threatened to go public with accusations that the former Conservative prime minister Edward Heath had sexually abused children.

Mr. Heath was prime minister between 1970 and 1974. He remained a member of Parliament until 2001, living out the rest of his life in Salisbury, in Wiltshire. He died in 2005 at 89, ...

Rabbeinu Bachye:Holiness is restricting unnecessary pleasures - to serve G-d properly

Rabbeinu Bachye (Kad haKemach Kedusha): A G-d dreaded in the council of the holy ones and feared by all of them that are around him. (Tehilim 89:8). The attribute of holiness (kedusha) is a powerful and amazing attribute. A person acquires it through the attribute of purity (tahara) because that is the necessary sequence of the development of attributes as is stated by our Sages (Avoda Zara 20b), “Purity leads to holiness”. The Yerushalmi )Sotah 14b) brings support for this from Vayikra (16:19), And he shall purify it and sanctify it. I have already mentioned in the section of Purity (taharah) that we are commanded by the Torah (Vayikra 11:44), And you shall sanctify yourself and you shall be holy. The Torah (Vayikra 19:2) also says, You shall be holy because I your G d am holy.

The nature of this holiness (kedusha) that we have been commanded is avoidance (prishus). In other words a person needs to protect himself from sin and lusts by avoiding even that which the Torah permits – as our Sages said, “Sanctify yourself even with that which is permitted to you.” Thus concerning eating and drinking – he should eat and drink less then what he wants – just enough to sustain his body. He should engage in sexual intercourse only for the purpose of procreation, or for his wife’s conjugal rights (onah) or to prevent sinful thoughts. All other motivations are prohibited by the Torah. Similarly in regard to speech he should restrict himself to speak only after careful deliberation and less then is necessary. Except for that which is necessary for his spiritual well-being such as talking matters of Torah or those required for his physical needs such as his livelihood and sustenance. One should also restrain himself concerning touching any part of his body with his bare hands – especially below his belt. It was because of exercising restraint in not touching his lower body that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was called the Holy Rabbi as is stated in Shabbos (58b). All these restraints are part of being holy and self-restrained (prishus).

And thus our Sages explained in Toras Cohanim, “And you shall sanctify yourselves become holy (Vayikra 11:44). This verse teaches that just as G-d is holy so should you be holy. Just as G-d shows self-restraint you should also show self-restraint." Thus holiness is defined as one who is separated and restrained from lust and he is fully focused on serving G-d. Thus there is a great benefit and need for the Torah to write “And you shall sanctify yourselves and become holy.” Because if it hadn’t been written, a person would simply gorge himself on food and drink – because they would have been unconditionally permitted. He would have eaten and enjoyed all things which taste good – simply because they are pleasurable. Similarly with speech - he would have uttered all the thoughts that came to mind. The lack of restriction would result in his becoming disgusting with all types of bad habits such as being a unrestrained glutton, or alcoholic – all because there would have been no restriction in the Torah concerning pleasure. Consequently this mitzva of being holy is stated after the listing of prohibited foods in the Torah. This teaches us that being holy means that a person not only must avoid prohibited food but even eating permitted food is only according to what he genuine needs - not solely because they give him pleasure. Therefore this mitzva of being holy comes in the section of prohibited foods to tell you a person needs to restrain himself in eating – and surely if the food itself is prohibited - because restraint in avoiding permitted food is also necessary. So if a person who avoids consuming prohibited foods is called holy, then surely one who restrains himself in eating that which is permitted is called holy. Because a person needs to subjugate and break his lusts and destroys his desires in the mortar of his intellect for the honor of G-d his Creator.[…]

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong - the danger of always being right

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rabbi Gabriel Bodenheimer pleads to endangering welfare of a child, ends sex abuse case

update July 31 2015 

I just received the following comment from a knowledgeable observer with permission to post anonymously. It represents what seems to be the majority view in Monsey that Rabbi Bodenheimer is innocent of the sexual abuse charges - even amongst those who generally believe the purported victim in most cases.

Everyone but everyone I know in Monsey,and I include myself, holds that the plea by Rabbi Bodenheim was to get this garbage behind him and to move on.

I add-you never know- in today’s atmosphere, some Judge could have sentenced him to jail time!

Everyone but everyone I know in Monsey (this now does NOT include me, because I do not know them) says that the kid is not a normal kid,and his parents are dysfunctional.

My son in Monsey tells me that KIDS who HATE Rabbi Bodenheimer (hitting,throwing them out of the school!!) all say-no way, no way.

Good Shabbos


But everything’s from haShem, right?
LoHud   A Monsey rabbi accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors said the agreement met the family's request to spare their son from having to testify in public.

Rabbi Gabriel Bodenheimer, 72, principal of Yeshiva Bais Mikroh for decades, faces three years probation when sentenced Oct. 27 on the misdemeanor count. As part of the agreement, the rabbi is barred from teaching or entering any school. He will also be subject to typical restrictions imposed on sex offenders.

Rockland County Court Judge Rolf Thorsen accepted the rabbi's plea. [...]

Bodenheimer, who lives at 3 Dunhill Lane, said little Tuesday, standing with his lawyer, Avi Moskowitz. He admitted to knowing the boy and taking actions that endangered the child's welfare. He is prohibited from going near the boy in the future.

Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld found not guilty of allegations he sexually abused a boy

Lohud    A Rockland judge on Thursday found New Square Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld not guilty of allegations he sexually abused a boy over a five-year period from 2001 to 2006. [...]

Despite Judge Rolf Thorsen's verdict, the young man who accused Taubenfeld of sexual abuse said he hoped the fact that he testified publicly will help other victims of abuse in New Square and the religious community. [...]

Thorsen said he ruled on the facts, including deciding the credibility of the testimony and whether there was reasonable doubt based on the evidence. He announced the verdict just past 3 p.m. following a multi-week trial. [...]

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rav Pinchus Rabinowitz: Forced Get produced through Quebec's Divorce Law

Important update Thursday July 30:  I just received a message from Rav Chaim Zev Malinowitz - a prominent rav and posek who is also a  good friend of Rav Kaufman - that this post is moot. That in fact Rav Kaufman has not written a get in this case and is not planning on writing a get for this woman without the agreement of the Rabbonim of Montreal except  if the 2 parties come to Monsey, he will be mesader the get if he is convinced that they are both willing and no kefiyah exists (which as of now is a problem). The following is an excerpt from what he sent me after he spoke with Rav Kaufman about this matter. He gave me permission to quote him.

 The whole story meetzeedoh as written  is basically loh hayya v'lo nivra.

Yes, he agreed to come to Montreal to be mesader a get IF the Rabbonim there are ok with him doing so  ,and if there is no question of kefiyah. 

They were not ok with it, and then he found out that there was a shayloh of kefiyah.
end of story meetzeedoh 

RSZK has enemies., cause he's a loh sagooroo mipnei ish kind of guy.

You were used. 

Look carefully at all your documents--he did nothing but have a hava amina to go be mesader cause he was asked to by the wife's to'ayn.

Nothing else happened meetzeedoh.

He stands ready to be mesader a get IF

a)the parties come to Monsey, he will not go to Montreal (because the rabbonim there object to his coming there and being mesader a get)

b)if all the lawyers come, if she undoes what she did there (causing a kefiyah shayloh) and he is satisfied that no other kefiyah exists .

Prominent Rabbonim  Invalidate a Get Kfiyah arranged  By Bais Horaah  of Rav Chaim Flohr and  Rav Shloma Zalman Kaufman 

Bais Horaah of Flohrs Kollel in Monsey have utilized the Get Law of Quebec to force a Get! In Schwimmer / Kohn matter they came into the picture when no other Rav in Canada would preside over such a forced Get.

Famous Rabbonim on both sides of the Atlantic are distressed about this get being advanced by Rav Chaim Flohr and Rabbi Kaufman  of Bais Horaah inc. , and are shocked at this of the Bais Din power despite the man’s side never being called to their Bais Din and never having signed a Shtar Berorin / or even presented their side in a Bais din at all! And plus the damage and the ramifications that will result to the orthodox public.

See the following documents:

MenachemZecharya Zilber Freiman Rov Hisachdus HArabonim

·        I have been asked by Rav Chaim Flohr Kolel Head of Monsey New York and Rav Yonoson Binyomin Weiss of Montreal to state my opinion on the matter of a GHET that must be given in Montreal based on the implementation of the “Quebec  Get Law “as to whether  the GHET to be given  is valid, or invalid or Void.
·        Having read the Get law and also the personal demands presented by the woman in this case, and the ruling of the judge in this matter it is apparent that it is because of this particular case that I have been asked as to whether such a get is valid. 
·        I hereby declare that the absolute truth is that according to the torah law this get would be Passul and Batul and Void. And should the woman marry with this Get she would be required to Leave both men and applicable all the Mishnah laws pertaining a woman who marries a forbidden one.
·        I have not come to explain in great detail  the Halacha so my words will be limited to clarify that
In this  particular case one cannot rely on even  those  Poskim that are lenient  on certain  specific force in  certain situations  and to my knowledge in this case  there  does not exist any  Posek to allow force.
·     The Get law of Quebec  the root and aim of the law is that should the Husband fail to remove all obstacles which prevent her from remarrying  as according to the torah (by not giving a Get) Then  Quebec Court will prevent the husband from entering any new claims  or responding to both money matters and claims presented by the woman according to the Quebec laws and also his rights to his children both custody and visitation and on all the matters the Judge will now rule in favor of the woman.
·     Therefore it is simple and clear that in this case will not apply even the heter of the lenient one that when the force is only on other  matters and the husband will by giving a get save himself from on those matters (and only if it amounts the same as she would receive according to normal din torah)then it might  not be considered forced  But in this case it is not so at all because it is clear in the Quebec Get Law  and the Court ruling that the husband is told that he will lose both all money and all visitation claims Should he refuse to give a Get and the word Get is mentioned plainly and openly ,he is warned   that without providing a Get  he will be judged in a way that his responses will not be heard or considered ! But only if he gives a get will he receive a fair hearing in the Quebec Court of nations only then will the defendant be allowed respond to claims that are demanded of him.

Neither can it be said that if the get was written in this forced manner Even if the husband declared that he is giving it voluntarily and annulled all statements of duress and any other matters that would invalidate the get  Even the most lenient of all opinions will not rely on this Since according to this law the husband must attest to the court that he has removed everything that will prevent her from remarrying and unless he does this he will be judged exparte and he will lose all his rights of defense
And should he declare to the bais din that he does not wish to give a get of his free will of course the Bais din will not be misader the get, and he now won’t be able to declare before the courts that he removed all obstacles to his wife’s remarriage  and so he will he will be judged in a manner that he will lose his money and visitation and all  rights to his children

In reference to the get they wish to arrange in Montreal for a lady from a prominent family who went to the courts and claimed from the husband more money then the Halacha allows.
Woe to the eyes that see this and woe to hears that hear this she is defying Toras Moshe and furthermore the Judge has ruled that unless the husband presents to the court by August 21 that he removed every obstacle that prevents his wife from remarriage i.e. giving a kosher Get She will be able to even add to her claims and his responses without out the husband being allowed to be there she will receive everything she wants and the husband will lose all rights to defend himself !
There are two Forced matters on this get
 1. That no husband  agrees to give a get as long  when the woman is making claims which cannot be gotten with Torah law for he knows that the woman will drop those claims and return him his money  in order to receive the get (although even when she withdraws the claim and a get is given we still would judge if this get is kosher because force was  first used )
2. That he is being forced through the Arkous to lose even the rights to answer and what he could save from her claims according to the arkous court laws therefore he is forced to give a Get !Since this  is something that one cannot tolerate and the husband has already stated for many people that he cannot give a Get of his free will until she withdraws the whole case from the court and then he will give he a kosher  get.
This means that aside from the defying Toras Moshe to go o be judged in arkous and asides from the fact she is making claims of sums that do not deserve And the Arkous is telling the Husband that if he doesn’t give her Get it is likely that she will then win all her demands and she can take much more than if he had given a Get And I wonder at the rabbonim of the city that have silenced their voices for the ramifications of this matter who can fathom?
In light of all the aforementioned I is clears that should he give a get prior to her removal of all claims in the Arkaous this Get would be Batul and the rule will be that she must leave both husbands …and should the woman remove all claims and make peace with her husband through peacemakers or Bais din may all the good blessings come to her . 

Menachem  Zecharyah Silber
Avbd Freiman          

Yitzchok Eizik Menachem  Eichenstein
 AvBD Galanta

Yehuda meshulam Dov  Polatchuk
Avbd Meged yehuda  Chavar habdatz

בירור דברים בדין גט מעושה ע"י חוק גירושין של מדינת קיובעק
תנן בגיטין [פ"ח ע"ב] גט מעושה בישראל כשר, ובעובדי כוכבים פסול. ופירש הרשב"ם [ב"ב מ"ח ע"א] גט המעושה, שכופין אותו לבעל להוציא, אם בישראל הוא כשר שכפוהו ישראל וכגון דאמר רוצה אני: בעכו"ם פסול, ואע"ג דאמר רוצה אני וכו'.
ובסוף המשנה קתני ובעכו"ם חובטין אותו ואומרין לו עשה מה שישראל אומר לך ופירשב"ם ובעכו"ם, אם אנו רוצים לכופו על ידי עכו"ם ויהיה הגט כשר מלמדים אנו לעכו"ם שיאמרו לו עשה מה שישראל אומר לך, דהשתא נמי מצוה לשמוע דברי חכמים עכ"ל. ועי' בתוס' ב"ב מ"ח ע"א ד"ה גט בסו"ד וז"ל: והא דאמר בגיטין [דף פ"ח ע"ב] לפניהם ולא לפני עכו"ם כיון שהעישוי על פי דייני ישראל לאו היינו לפני עכו"ם, דלפני עכו"ם היינו כשהעישוי נעשה על פי דייני עכו"ם עכ"ל.
ביאור הדברים דאף שהגט צריך להיכתב ולהינתן מרצון הבעל, ולכן גט מעושה פסול שהבעל לא גירש מרצונו, מכל מקום באופן שכופין אותו לגרש למדין מהמשנה בערכין [כ"א ע"א] דכופין אותו עד שיאמר רוצה אני, וכ"ה ברמב"ם פ"ב מהלכות גירושין הלכה כ': מי שהדין נותן שכופין אותו לגרש את אשתו ולא רצה לגרש, בית דין וכו' וכו', מכין אותו עד שיאמר רוצה אני, ויכתוב הגט והוא גט כשר.
וכתב עוד הרמב"ם: ולמה לא בטל גט זה שהרי הוא אנוס בין ביד גויים בין ביד ישראל, שאין אומרין אנוס אלא למי שנלחץ ונדחק לעשות דבר שאינו מחויב בו מן התורה לעשותו, כגון מי שהוכה עד שמכר או נתן, אבל מי שתקפו יצרו הרע לבטל מצוה או לעשות עבירה, והוכה עד שעשה דבר שחייב לעשותו וכו', אין זה אנוס ממנו, אלא הוא אנס עצמו בדעתו הרעה. לפיכך, זה שאינו רוצה לגרש מאחר שהוא רוצה להיות מישראל, רוצה הוא לעשות כל המצוות ולהתרחק מן העבירות, ויצרו הוא שתקפו, וכיון שהוכה עד שתשש יצרו ואמר רוצה אני כבר גירש לרצונו עכ"ל.
ולענין הלכה כתב בשו"ע אם אנסוהו ישראל שלא כדין פסול, ובבית שמואל כתב לפרש וז"ל: משמע לכאורה דפסול מדרבנן, וליתא אלא אפילו מדאורייתא פסול כמו שכתבו ברש"י והר"ן ובטור וכן משמע בסעיף ז', וכן אם אנסוהו עכו"ם כדין הגט בטל וכו' עכ"ד ר"ל שבסעיף ז' כתב המחבר אנסוהו ישראל לגרש שלא כדין ואמר רוצה אני, וגם ביטל המודעא או לא מסרה [ר"ל המודעא] פסול, ואעפ"כ פסלה מן הכהונה עכ"ל המחבר, ומדכתב לרבותא שפסלה מן הכהונה שמע מינה דמן הדין הגט בטל מדאורייתא, ורק משום ריח הגט [שהוא חומרא בעלמא] פסלה מן הכהונה, וכ"כ להלכה הט"ז בסק"ט ובערוה"ש סעיף ג'.
ובאנסוהו עכו"ם כתב בשו"ע סעיף ח: אנסוהו כותים לגרש, אם הוא חייב לגרשה מן הדין פסול, ואעפ"כ פסלה מהכהונה, ואם לא היה חייב לגרשה מן הדין אפילו ריח גט אין בו ולא נפסלה מהכהונה, והרמ"א הוסיף על זה וז"ל: ואפילו אם קבל מעות על נתינת הגט לא אמרינן משום זה נתרצה עכ"ד.
הרי מבואר דפסולו של גט מעושה ע"י נכרים אף שיש פסק דין שחייב בכפייה לא חלה הדין של ככ"ה על העישוי של נכרים, ולכן הגט בטל מן התורה.
ובאותו מקרה אם נעשתה הכפייה על ידי עובד כוכבים [והבי"ד של ישראל לא ביקשו מהנכרים שיכופו אותו] הגט פסול אף שבאמת היה הבעל חייב לגרש את אשתו, מכל מקום כיון שלא נעשה על ידי בית דין של ישראל אין הגט מועיל להתיר את האשה, אפילו אם אמר הבעל רוצה אני כדרך שהוא עושה ע"י כפיית בית דין.

מהו העישוי שנחשב לאונס לא רק שחבטוהו והכוהו על כך כדקתני להדיא במשנה אלא גם כשאנסוהו בממון כגון שגזלו ממנו מעותיו ואינם רוצים להחזיר לו אלא אם כן יגרש את אשתו כ"כ הרשב"א בתשובותיו ח"ד סי' מ' והובא בב"י סי' קל"ד ומקורו מגמ' ב"ב מ' ע"ב במעשה דפרדיסא, ובשו"ת ה"ר בצלאל אשכנזי סי' ט"ז כתב להוכיח כן מכל הראשונים שכתבו במכירה שאונס ממון הוי אונס והוא הדין בגט ע"ש.
אשר לפ"ז כשהאשה הולכת לערכאות ותובעת ממון שלא כדין ובגלל זה נותן הבעל גט לאשתו הוי גט מעושה כדכתב בשו"ת שבט הלוי בחלק ה' סימן ר"י בסוף תשובתו בזה"ל: באופן שחשש גט מעושה במקומו עומד כיון שהוא כפיית ממון ע"י אחרים, וכבר יצאה הלכה לכלל ישראל שאונס ממון נקרא ג"כ אונס כמבואר שם באה"ע וחו"מ ובתשובת מהר"ב אשכנזי סימן ט"ז, ומהרי"ק סימן ס"ג ובמכתב אליהו סוף פרק י"ט ובשאר הרבה פוסקים, ואין עיצה אלא שימחלו לו הקנס, ושהיא תכתוב כן לערכאות, וכשהוא חפשי מזה לפעול אצלו על הגט ברצון עכ"ד.
ונראה דבכה"ג שערכאות מחייבים ממון שלא כדין הגט פסול אפילו במקום שיש פסק דין של כפייה, דמאחר שתובעים ממון שלא כדין הרי סיבת הדבר שנותן הגט הוא משום שאינו רוצה שיגנבו ממנו ממון, ומאחר שזה הכפייה הוא שלא כדין דאסור לישראל לגזול ממון ע"י ערכאות דהוי מסירה וגזילה, ועוד בכה"ג שגם אחרי נתינת הגט מונעים ממנו איזה זכות שלא כדין הרי באופן זה לא חייב ליתן גט והכפייה הוא שלא כדת שהרי הוא מפסיד שלא כדין בגלל נתינת הגט, ועוד מאחר שכופין שלא כדין הרי בממילא באופן זה בטלה הדין של כפייה והוי גט מעושה.
ואף עישוי של ישראל הוא ע"י שכופין אותו בגופו כלשונו של הרמב"ם הנ"ל "וכיון שהוכה עד שתשש יצרו ואמר רוצה אני כבר גירש לרצונו" אבל לא כן הוא כשאנסוהו בממון שאין אמירת רוצה אני יוצאת מעמקי הלב כיון שלא תשש יצרו, רק אנוס הוא באמירת רוצה אני כדי שלא יגזלו ממנו, ועוד מאחר שאין זה הדרך לכפייה הרי נעשה הכפייה באיסור, והוי כמו אנסוהו שלא כדין, ועוד אפילו אם העישוי הוא רק על דברים המגיעים לה על פי הלכה, אבל מאחר שחוק גירושין הוא שהיא יכולה לתבוע, ולהבעל אין זכות טענה - לטעון כנגדה בודאי יש בה משום חמס. ובאמת נראה שיש לדון /שבאופן שיפסיד הבעל יותר בערכאות מכפי דיני תורה הן בענין ממון הן בענין ביקורי ילדים והוא אינו רוצה ליתן גט עד שיסודר ביניהם מקודם באיזה אופן שיהי', הרי בזה יש לו זכות לעכב הגט עכ"פ עד שתלך לדין תורה, ואף היה הבעל מאלו שכופין, וכן פסקו הבית דין מכל מקום למה לא יהיה לו הזכות לעכב הגט עד שגם היא תעשה כדין תורה, והסברא נותנת שעד שתציית היא לדין תורה הרי הוא פטור מליתן הגט, דמעולם לא נתחייב בנתינת הגט אם זה גורם לו פסידא שלא כדין, ופשוט.

ומכל שכן בנדון דידן דמעולם לא תבעה אותו לדין תורה - שהרי לא שלחה אליו הזמנה לדין תורה, והיא שהתחילה בערכאות, ואף אם התירו לה ג' רבנים בעל פה הרי אין בכחם להפקיר ממונו והיא הלכה לתבוע תביעות שלא כדין, ואין כאן היתר ערכאות רק איסור גזילה ומסירה ועל ידי גלגול נתגלגל עוד איסור של איסור אשת איש שמחמת זה יהיה הבעל מוכרח ליתן לה גט כשר עפ"י ערכאות דעפ"י הלכה הרי זה גט מעושה ומה שיש כאן איסור הליכה לערכאות וחילול השם באופן מבהיל משתמשים בחוק גירושין לאיסור ממה נפשך אם לא יתן גט יהי' איסור גניבה ואם כן יתן גט יהי' גט מעושה, ועי"ז אחרים יראו ונמצא שהתירא דערכאות הוא מתלמידיו של ירבעם בן נבט ועל כן עליהם לצאת מיד ולהתוודות שנכשלו במכשול גדול ופרצו בזה לאחרים חומות קדושת ישראל, ואולי כל זה נעשה בעצת אנשים שלא ידעו בטיב הלכה ועכשיו שיראו שהלכו בדרך עקלקלות ישובו מדרכם וטוב להם, וכדברי רבינו יונה בשערי תשובה בשער הרביעי וסר עונו ברוב גודל כשרון המעשה שהוא בהיפך מן המעשה אשר גואל ואשר חטא בו, ולכן עליהם להקשיב לגדולי המורים ולהפסיק מלשמוע לאנשים המשיאים אותם עצות מתוחכמות שאין רוח חכמים נוחה הימנו.

Wife beating: Can a son call the police to stop his father?

I received an important question. Since to me the answer is obvious - but at the same time it is clear that halachic thinking obscures the obvious - I would like to present it to my readers.

Question: A man is beating his wife on a regular basis. Is their son permitted to call the police? The question then not only is mesira, and causing damage more than prescribed by the Torah, as well as chilul hashem when this becomes public knowledge - but also whether he violates the command to honor his father. The questioner - after much investigation had found a possible solution. According to the Rambam a person can not allow himself to be beaten. The questioner noted that apparently the wife is being mochel the beating and since she has no right to do so - she is committing a sin. Therefore in order to save the mother from sin - he is allowed to call the police.

Answer: In my humble opinion, the suggested solution is not a solution. The wife is not being mochel the beatings. The husband beats her because he wants to - not because she is giving him permission!

The obvious answer is that stopping someone from beating another is not only permitted but obligatory. The real question for the son is whether he should stop his father - either physically, getting community resources to shame the father for wife beating - or whether he can simply call the police. If the beatings are not life-threatening I would suggest that an organization such as Shalom Task Force should be contacted for help. If they can intervene with proper counseling to stop the beatings and improve the relationship I think that is preferable. Similarly if the rav or neighbors can intervene to put the husband on notice to stop the beatings I think that is preferable to calling the police.

However if the beatings are serious and especially if there is no time to try and organize anything - then the police is the first response. Saving his father from sinning is the highest level of honoring his father. Saving his mother is obviously honoring his mother

The real issue though is what will be the consequences to the marriage of calling the police. If his father demands a divorce or simply abandons her making her an aguna - it is likely that his mother would prefer being hit occasionally.

There was a case in Jerusalem of an elderly man who was being beaten regularly by his son who lived with him - a case of elder abuse. The neighbors called the police when they learned about it. The son was arrested and thrown in jail. The father said, "I am all alone now. My son took care of me. He did the shopping and cooking and provided me with companionship. Now I have no one and I can't take care of myself and will need to be put in a nursing home. I would rather be beaten regularly than be put in a nursing home."

Thus the real question is not whether the halacha permits calling the police - but what action can best improve the current unacceptable condition. However if the beatings are life threatening - even a sofek of pikuach nefesh - there is absolutely no question that the police need to be called to stop the beatings.

Three UVA Grads Sue Rolling Stone Over Retracted Rape Article

NBC News  Three members of a University of Virginia fraternity caught up in a firestorm of criticism over a since-retracted Rolling Stone article alleging a sexual assault have filed a lawsuit against the publication and its author.
The three UVA graduates say in the complaint filed in federal court Wednesday that they were humiliated and mocked after they were presumed to be participants in an alleged sexual assault that was the centerpiece of the story.
They were not identified by the since-discredited article, but information in the story led to them being identified online as participants in the alleged attack, the lawsuit claims.
The three men suffered "vicious and hurtful attacks" in the aftermath of the article, the lawsuit says. Online, "plaintiffs' names will forever be associated with the alleged gang rape," the lawsuit claims.
They are suing Rolling Stone, author Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and the company that publishes Rolling Stone, Wenner Media. A dollar amount is not specified in the court documents, other than to say the suit seeks more than $75,000. [...]
The Rolling Stone article published in November detailed an alleged brutal gang rape of a UVA student named "Jackie" at a fraternity house.
Questions were raised about the validity of the account, and Rolling Stone retracted the article entirely by April. The retraction was made after an independent report found that the magazine violated "basic, even routine journalistic practice."

Time for change and hope - Relating to OTD children

Guest Post   By Yaakov Y. Freedman

There isn’t anyone I know who would argue that we don’t live in challenging and troubling times in the Jewish community.

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear or read about child abuse, nasty divorce cases, money scandals, and other horrible stories which bring Chilul Hashem amongst us Jews and the goyim. Connected or not, it has brought on what seems to be an escalating number of young people from the Orthodox community who bitterly leave the fold and lose all hope and desire for a religious life. It then further contributes to terrible consequences whereby persons of both genders take the next step of leaving the world. This is both so tragic and sad that it cries out loud for help from all of us.

You may ask, what can the simple bystander do? To start with, we must be informed about what’s happening around us despite the heimishe papers trying to keep a tight lid on anything that casts a negative light on our communities. Hiding one’s head like an ostrich in the sand won’t make these reported or unreported problems vanish.

Second, we must be honest with ourselves and be “don lekav zchus” people who go off the derech or behave different from what we believe in. We must be willing to try to be “mekarev” people who seem lost or troubled.

On the positive side, I’m amazed how every day new kiruv organizations pop up, small and large, who bring a professional approach to the masses that cannot bring themselves to even identify with Yiddishkeit in the simplest ways. There are B”H talented individuals in Israel and in America who have studied effective methods with which to deal with troubled or unaffilated Jews to try to get them on solid footing and bring them a meaningful religious life.

It is comforting to see good results coming from dedicated persons who tirelessly and selfishlessly devote energy and time to help others in need. But, it seems that it’s not enough to rely on others alone. We must begin by changing our set ways and think outside the box for the good of our brothers and sisters.

Which brings me to a letter that was brought to my attention and which was publicized online. It was sent by a chasidishe father to his daughter who went off the derech. Did he do the right thing? Perhaps so. I can’t help but think we could be nearing the time when Eliyahu Hanavi ushers in a new era of “V’heishiv Lev Avos Al Bonim V’Lev Bonim Al Avoisom”.

Here’s the letter from a chassidic dad to his adult OTD daughter.
My dearest Suri,

As I fasted today, I sat and reflected on what our fast is all about. Why was our beautiful home in Yerushalayim destroyed? Why did the presence of Hashem leave us? What did we do to drive ourselves into this long bitter golus?

I always knew the answer, but I don't think I understood it as well as I do right now. It was destroyed because we were judgmental of those who did not ACT the way we wanted them to act.

We were embarrassed of those who did not DRESS the way that we wanted them to dress. We looked down at those that did not TALK the way we wanted them to talk. And our misplaced ego caused us to think that we are better then they are. This is what caused us to destroy ourselves completely. Without having a ayin tovah, a favorable and understanding eye on those around us, we are not deserving of having the divine presence of Hashem live among us. We threw ourselves out with our self-righteous mindset.

Which group of us caused the destruction? The ones "on the derech" or the ones "off the derech"?

On this I sit and cry... my eyes fill with tears... the epiphany just hit me like a ton of bricks: It was not the ones wearing the jeans (as an example) that caused the destruction, rather, it was the ones not wearing jeans who then looked down upon those who wore the jeans! WE are the ones who destroyed the beis Hamikdosh and we have not yet corrected our sin! In fact, with Torah and mitzvos being so strong... we have perhaps even strengthened our sin... we have taken it to a higher level.

I look at myself... am I not part of the group who uses our beautiful religion to look down at others? And if so, am I not the one responsible for our current exile? What good is my fasting and sitting on a floor if I cannot face the truth that "I" am currently responsible for this tragedy?!

I now fully realize that it is not you and your friends who are preventing Moshiach from coming... it is me and my friends!

I wrote my own kinniss: Woe is to me for I have repeated and repeated the original sin that caused the churban! Woe is to me for I have stabbed my own flesh and blood! Woe is to me for I took the holy Torah that is supposed to be sweet and peaceful "dirachehuh darchei NOAM vichal nesivosehuh SHALOM" and I used it to form a dagger which I then used to stab you - and others - over and over again!!

And so after a long day of fasting and contemplation, I look back at the way that I treated you and for this I now sit and cry. My dear sweet beloved Suri !! How can I ever take back the pain that I caused you? How can I ever repay you for the smiles and hugs that you so deserved... but didn't get from me because I was too busy justifying to myself why it is OK for me to look down at you… to judge you harshly… and to actively destroy the Bais Hamikdosh? How can I give you back the lost years?

My dear Suri, a long long long time ago, I looked into the future and dreamed about the day that you would grow up, mature, learn right from wrong, wake up from your selfishness and finally come ask me for forgiveness… but after alot of inner searching... "I" grew up, and "I" matured, and "I" learned right from wrong, and now "I" finally finally woke up from MY selfish, haughty, egotistical, judgmental attitude! And now on this painful day I turn to you and I ask you – no, I BEG you - for forgiveness!!

I accept upon myself to shower you with love and affection, with hugs and kisses, and to do everything in my power to always be there for you through thick and thin! I pledge to work so so hard to make up for all of the pain that I caused you. I pledge to never look down at you, your friends, or on ANY JEW ever again. I am DONE with the negative attitude! I am DONE with being the judge and jury to another Yid! I am DONE with thinking that I am BETTER than ANY other Jew in Klal Yisrael. I am DONE being a part of the problem... and I pledge that as of right this moment... I will become a part of the SOLUTION!!

My Suri, please open your heart to me... please open your arms to me... hug me, hold my hand and let us build the beis Hamikdosh together…

What do you say?

Your loving Totty

Posted on Facebook – July 26, 2015
By Sarah Miller Gips
Baltimore, Maryland

My father sent me this letter today... I just wanted to share it, I wish more people would do things like this. I decided to post this publicly after I shared it with some people who really needed to see this and it was well received...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rav Dovid Eidensohn: "Modern Orthodoxy" - Wed night July 29 9:30 telephone conference Shiur #13

call 605-562-3130  enter code 411161#

Jewry in general is filled with failure. “Most people sin with stealing.” “All Jews sin with Loshon Hora.” “Three sins everyone does every day: sinful thoughts, praying and being sure of being answered, and loshon hora.” (Bovo Basro 164b-5a) Our topic, however, is failure that becomes enshrined officially, when people call themselves not Orthodox but something else, Modern Orthodox or like the new apikorsim mamosh who call themselves Open Orthodox even though their leaders say clearly that they don’t believe in the Torah. Yes, we maintain a difference between a Jew who fails and a Jew who hangs up a sign and says “I don’t keep this or that.”

We are going to speak here about Modern Orthodox, but we also mention the trend  for some Orthodox rabbis to violate clear statements in Shulchan Aruch and poskim when it comes to women’s rights to have a GET on demand.  Some husbands can be forced to divorce, but these are rare. We see rabbis who humiliate husbands and coerce in violation of the Shulchan Aruch, and they are not Modern Orthodox. In fact, one  Yeshiva rabbi in Philadelphia went so far as to pronounce a married woman free to remarry, and the Modern Orthodox condemned it. To my knowledge, other than myself, no Orthodox rabbis condemned it publicly, although almost all of them condemn it privately.