Facts in Gafni case must be brought to light
Andrew Friedman
Published: 19.05.06, 11:32
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1. YNet's own complicity
David ,   Jerusalem   (05.19.06)
The harsh response from Ynet's opinion editor is welcome. Yet it is also self-serving. After all, if all the people who ever promoted Gafni are somehow tarnished, what does that say about Ynet, which until very recently hosted his weekly column? Where's your apology, Andrew Friedman?
2. "Statutory" "rape" is NOT rape
Antonio ,   Haifa   (05.19.06)
The rabbi is not rapist, just a man.
3. Gafni
leah amdur ,   Jerusalem Israel   (05.19.06)
Statutary rape is rape. The criminal definition of rape is Sex without consent. A child is by law ruled in capable of consent. Statutory rape is worse than rape its paedophilia
4. #2 why are you defending rape/paedophilia?
David ,   London   (05.19.06)
I don't know if Gafni is actually guilty of what he's being accused of here, but if he is I certainly wouldn't defend him.
5. The legal definition of "statutory rape"
Ephraim Rauch ,   Tel Aviv   (05.19.06)
is: "sexual assault of a person before the age of consent". Ms Leah Amdor from Jerusalem is right.
6. Isn't Chief Rabbi. AMAR brutal youth linching far worse?
gabriela ben ari ,   jerusalem   (05.19.06)
7. YNET. Please don't embarass in public, justice is for lawers
pepita ,   gush   (05.19.06)
8. Israel Television stinks
Ephraim Rauch ,   Tel Aviv   (05.19.06)
The main problem with psychopaths is neither their deceitfulness, nor their disregard for the well-being of others, or their complete lack of remorse. The main problem is that they always find powerful people ready to encourage them, recomment them and promote them. Psychopaths have been studied by psychiatrists and psychologists for centuries. The people who are responsible for their success have only been studied during the last fifteen-twenty years. It appears that they are not "just anybody", people like you and me; there is something particular about them. I shall not go into details here. It will suffice to point out that the "Rabbi" was promoted by Yediot Aharonot, and also by Israel Television. The same Israeli Television has organized during the last week the public lynching of Dr Arie Figer (a world-renowned oncologist who is warmly greeted by all medical celebrities when he appears in international medical congresses, author of more than 60 publications in prestigious medical journals, known among his peers for his devotion to his work, his very special talent, and the extraordinary results he obtained in the treatment of cases which looked hopeless). But the same Television did not mention at any moment the recent tribulations of the "Rabbi" it promoted for such a long time.
9. Gafni, a worthy follower of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and other
Avi ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (05.19.06)
Put an end to stranglehold the Orthodox male Rabbis have on us Jews in Israel. They are not all scum, but their absolute power has corrupted them absolutely. Metzger, Amar, BenIzri, Dov Lior etc. Open the markets to real competition.
10. A teenager is perfectly capable of concenting to sex
Antonio ,   Haifa   (05.19.06)
Law may say otherwise, but that's just denial of the reality. Has these girls slept with a 15-year-old, it wouldn't have been a crime. So his "crime" is just his age. These laws are no different from blasphemy laws that resulted in people bured at the stake for publishing scientific discoveries.
11. Odd that the article doesn't mention Gafni worked at YNet?
Chava ,   Haifa   (05.19.06)
What is YNet trying to hide?
12. Rabbi Gafni
robin ,   israel   (05.19.06)
Rabbi Gafni's articles were beautiful and were capable of attracting a lot of Jews back to their roots. I believe his making Judaism accessible to everyone may very well have ticked off the Orthodox community, so unlike the current practice of Israeli newscasters and reporters alike, I am going to go by America's most precious bywords "Innocent until proven guilty."
13. Gafni is the sole of Yediot Aharonot
Alex ,   LA, USA   (05.19.06)
Why do you you so critical of this guy. There are a lot of other rapists. He is a very good anti-Orthodox philosopher.
14. #8: Gafni is no psychopath
Edan ,   Beer Sheva   (05.20.06)
He is an extremely charismatic and thought provoking spiritual leader who turned his back on the rigidness and spiritual emptiness of the orthodox in order to bring jews back to judaism. Too bad he is a human being and made a mistake. It appears that he made a big one (and not just one). But let us not forget :1) King David (and his numerous transgressions) and 2) Innocent until proven guilty.
15. #9 "Open the markets to real competition"
Kyle ,   Southpark, CO, USA   (05.20.06)
Avi, mi amigo, Mordechai Gafni was the furthest thing from an "establishment Orthodox rabbi." He was a darling of the "egalitarian" Reform & Reconstructionist crowd, the "challenge to the establishment" that you claim is so urgently needed. Well, you are welcome to him.
16. Oy va voy! Kapoychaloichieeee!
17. the only secular rabbi
Anna ,   New York   (05.20.06)
Mark is the only secular rabbi a woman can turn in the case of need. Ladies like Gafni. He is a good reconstructionist rebbe
18. Antonio #2
keren ,   sao paulo   (05.20.06)
I am so sorry in listening such a disgusting opinion....
dani ,   Isrsael   (05.20.06)
Am very sad, I loved listening to Gafni, loved his way of talking, his message and widow, this has really shocked me as I have now lost total faith and feel you cannot trust anyone in this worldl
20. Guilty by admission
Rasjie ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (05.20.06)
To all of you who are still defending this scumbag. He has sent a letter to the Bayit hadash congregation and admitted to being a sick induvidual and apologised for his actions. Who can still defend such a creep!!! Check out this link:http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Gafni_Mordechai.html#Letter%20from%20Gafni
21. Gafni
Anony ,   Here and There...   (05.20.06)
Clearly, Gafni has a problem....he admits his transgressions; however, I don't truly believe his sincerity. More heinous than his sexual misconduct with these women; he selfishly played on their emotions; led them to believe he cared for them, (maybe even told each and every one that he loved them) and then dumped them; which in its own way; is far worse than the sexual act itself. (And, this is coming from a woman, so please don't all of you get crazy now!) From what I've learned in psychology is that his type of behavior is indicative of someone suffering from narcissism and egoism; maybe even a bit of borderline personality disorder thrown in to boot. These emotional illnesses cannot be cured; per se, only its symptoms can be treated. And, as far as his sexual needs, they are needs that were only there to satisfy himself. I can't imagine that sex with him would be that great if he is only out to please himself; emotionally and physically. I have met Gafni twice; including attending one of his retreats in Poriya; he is very charming and can be hypnotic; and I can understand how young girls, (or foolish older women) would fall for this type of guy. I saw right though him, yet enjoyed his style anyway. As for his "Rabbi-ness" when he started becoming involved with Buddhism and with other spiritual thought that didn't involve Judaism; like Ken Wilbur's Integral Naked Institute (something like this) I moved away from his line of thinking; it was too radically removed from Judaism to make me feel comfortable. He should seek help (and lots of it) and should be stripped of his rabbinical license (if he has one) and should not be allowed to teach publically; or maybe not allowed to teach for a very long time; and then be monitored closely. It's a shame; he could have contributed so much to Judaism; but instead he fell prey to the needs of his own ego and the worst of his selfish desires.
22. Gafni is second Jesus
Nunsic ,   Paris   (05.20.06)
Soon you will see him in your home (on TV).
23. Not surprised about Gafni
Robin ,   NY/Jerusalem   (05.20.06)
I first saw Gafni speak in Jerusalem about 9 years ago. His lectures were always advertised in such ways as "Life, Laughter, Love", etc, etc. To be honest, it was quite silly and made me a bit sick. He seemed like an obvious lightweight and a fake, and it surprised me that so many were actually quite taken with him (men and woman alike). My instincts immediately told me that this guy was not for real, not as a "rabbi/scholar", and not as a human being. Certainly he was no spiritual leader. It is my opinion that the cycle of abuse continues because people who have been abused in the past in some ways continue to be attracted to the "abuser" personality. Perhaps that's why he retained so much popularity - there are lots of abused people in this world - and he seemed somehow "familiar" to them. Then, by attracting this "abused" fan base, of course these very people are the most vulnerable to being abused by him. It's a terrible cycle that continues to be repeated everywhere in the world. I hope at least this guy can be brought to justice somehow, somewhere.
24. "International, bi-partisan cooperation"
Josh ,   Jerusalem   (05.20.06)
One shoud appoint a committee of Peres, Lini, Olmert, and Peretz to look into this individual reasoning. Perhaps, UN should look into this stuff. Perhaps the guy should be send to Iran for a reeducation, or made the editor of "haaretz".
25. Stop the witchhunt
Jennifer ,   Tel Aviv   (05.20.06)
I have lived in Jaffa and on several occasions was blessed to run into Rav Gafni and his beautiful wife. My experiences meeting them have only been pleasant. The first time I met his wife, she was at a very secular Israeli new-age festival collecting lost souls through yoga and meditation; another time I met the couple was sundown motzsei shabbat outside their home performing a havdala ceremony with some of the souls they had collected over the years-- no doubt many of these people were the bruised and battered that had returned to Israel after the army, coming home with Indian names seeking spirituality. We cannot ignore that Rav Gafni has done extraordinary work in promoting ahavat Israel and bringing hundreds if not thousands of young people closer to the Torah.
26. Accuser AND Judge?!
Mel ,   Jerusalem,Israel   (05.21.06)
You have brought testimony from totally unconfirmed/unreliabe sources and making accusations against him, and judging him as well.It's Lashon Hara. Let the man have his "day in court" if he must. Perhaps he is already admitting to these accusations. We should beware of many "new age" Rabbi's who report to be Orthodox- they aren't. They are hiding behind their "spirituality" and can lead others astray.
27. Ynet an media dont jump into conclusions
leah ,   haifa   (05.21.06)
This guy is an exceptionally brillant teacher and rabbi. I hope his career goes on.
28. YNET should not give up Torah!
Richard ,   Paris   (05.21.06)
Please get somebody else for the weekly column (maybe bring back Avraham Burg). Even if guilty, as ihe seems to be by his own confesion, we have no right to bash rabbi Gafni (this would be lashon hara). As a human beign he is entitled to our compassion.
29. Warning to Communities
Jewish Survivors Spe   (05.21.06)
Marc Gafni has a history of abusing women since he was 19 years old. Our rabbinic leaders have been aware of this fact for years, yet did nothing. Isn't it time we demand that they publically denounce him. You can read about his history on The Awareness Center's web page. www.theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html
30. Awareness Center: Beware
David ,   Chicago, IL. USA   (05.21.06)
People should be "aware" that "The Awareness Center" is run by Vickie Polin, a wild-eyed psychotic with a history of making absurd accusations in order to garner attention for herself. A number of years ago, she appeared on the "Oprah" show claiming that a cult of Jews in CHICAGO commit RITUAL MURDER. Google "Oprah Rachel Ritual Murder" http://usajewish.com
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