From Lazer Brody
This is not an easy subject; I didn’t want to deal with this in public, but after having to advise a heartbroken Baal Tshuva in the USA what to do when
a blue-blooded Cheder Rebbe molested his beloved child, we can no longer remain quiet.
First of all, a child molester is the lowest form of villain. If he carries an appearance of being religious, such as a warped cheder rebbe, he’s lower
than low by causing chilul Hashem, a defamation of Hashem’s name, for which there is no atonement. The minute he lays a hand on a child – or on any other
human – he gets the judgment of “rodef”, literally “chaser” or attempted murderer. Any person has the right to kill a “rodef” on the spot. By molesting
a child, the villain is literally maming the child’s tender soul for life.
Unfortunately, as you say … many community leaders are not aggressive enough against this cancer. By not acting and protecting children from molesters,
those leaders are “standing on their blood”, a severe transgression of Torah. Here’s what we do over here, with iron-fist rabbinical approval:
The minute a molester (or potential molestor) is identified, he gets a “house call” by 2 or 3 good ol’ boys with long payis and very big biceps; they don’t
lay a finger on the villain, but put a good 10 pounds of fear in his heart and inform him that he must do the following: 1) Tshuva; 2) Resign immediately
from the cheder, and to never teach children again; 3) No severence pay; 4) To stay put, so he doesn’t move to another town and begin molesting children
there. 5) Pay damages to the injured party; 6) Mandatory counseling and emotional rehab. The villain then falls under close scrutiny, and if he even looks
at a child, somehow bad things begin happening to him. Such a system prevents Chilul Hashem and is usually adequate.
If however, the villain tries to hide behind his “meyuchas” relatives or weak rabbis, or fails to make tshuva, we turn him over to the police. Child molesters
in Israel get 18 years in the slammer. I used to be the Rav of a prison – I can tell you that the other inmates hate child molestors, and make their lives
unbearable. As such, the fear of a stint in an Israeli prison is also a deterrent. Yet, not long ago, one second offender that didn’t heed a rav’s warnings
was sent up the river for the full 18; he went to jail with a cast on his right arm, too.
Although the thing I love most is “Kiddush Hashem”, and the thing I hate most is “Chilul Hashem”, protecting the life of a child comes before Chilul Hashem
considerations. Hashem is willing to have His holy name erased to make peace between a husband and wife – all the more so to guard the life of a child.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that not all rabbis – especially in these times before Moshiach – are not exactly worthwhile. If your local rabbi doesn’t
come down like a ton of bricks on a child molestor – or seek the aid of others that will – don’t have faith in him.
Parents – look for the early warning signs! Don’t ever let your child stay after school alone with a teacher, and beware of a teacher that seeks to be alone
with a child. Teach your child about the sanctity of the body, and that no one is allowed to touch it.
Yes, this abomination is in the tradition of the Flood Generation. May Hashem wipe these villains from our midst.
May we merit to talk about happier subjects always, yours with blessings, Lazer Brody
I’m very glad to read pronouncements like this when it comes to horrors like the sexual abuse scandals that have erupted over the last few weeks.
Rav Lazer has not only refused to shrink from or apologize for anyone’s despicable behavior, he has called a spade a spade.
Rav Lazer, may you merit many blessings!