Tali Farkash

Monsters among us

Informing welfare services of sexual assaults in haredi community is a mitzvah

Like the rest of the people in Israel, I have also been following the recent child abuse cases. Like the rest of the people in Israel, I saw the harsh accounts, the children's horror stories, and I was disgusted, shocked and enraged. I must say, though, that I was not surprised.


For some time now, people like these parents have been conducting these acts under the radar of the welfare services and the police. It's not that the neighbors don’t know; it's not that they don’t suspect anything. It's just that they look to the other side, rather than "poke their nose" into other people's business. Being the Social Affairs Ministry's "informer" earns you no points among the haredi public, and being a police "delator" is a real mark of disgrace. And if there are those which came into this world to live in a moral and just society like the ultra-Orthodox sector, they must only pray not to meet the next assailant around the corner.


The first time I encountered a sexual assault incident I was too naïve to understand. It was in the sixth grade. A classmate told us secretly about a certain man on the street who likes to hug little girls and take their clothes off. My first response as a little girl was to giggle in embarrassment. This was probably a weird story by a weird girl, a fabrication, a way to get a bit of attention.


Several years later, when we were already studying in different schools, I repented. Why didn’t we say anything to anyone? How could we think that she would make up such a thing? But on second thought, even if one of the "adults" had known about it, I doubt it would have been taken care of. The most one can expect is a local organization, which would remove the "evil inclination" from the neighborhood pervert through beating.


The famous conspiracy of silence among the haredi population, which the welfare services and police are dealing with, is a mark of disgrace to the entire sector. Wanting to maintain an image of morality at any cost, they fall into the hole dug by negative elements in the name of Torah, in the name of righteousness. An intensive brainwash has turned psychologists into "religion's enemies", social workers into those "causing people to leave religion" and the police into the messenger of the foreign regime. In this glasshouse, monsters grow and thrive among us.


Failing to understand the deep motive derived from one's personality, and believing that this is "not a good deed" and that this man or woman will "repent" and behave nicely, all that is left is to watch how, due to naivety and a desire to believe in the good-heartedness of a sick and disturbed soul – people who are dangerous to their children, to the entire society, roam freely. Monsters.


Rabbi assaulted? Send him to a different yeshiva

Sexual assaults are a phenomenon which takes place in the State of Israel on a daily basis, unfortunately in the haredi sector as well. A girl goes downstairs to jump rope with her friends and is forces by a "bad man" to do bad things behind the bushes. A mother goes downstairs to throw the garbage and finds her son in the arms of a strange person. It's all true and it all happens in the haredi society's forgotten backyard. There is no police here and each person does what is right in his own eyes.


Those who read this indictment may feel that it is overly severe. That pedophiles and sadists do not roam the streets and do what they want with children, that there is no room for this radicalization. I am sorry. I regret to say that this is a mistake and that all those who refuse to see reality as it is are inviting themselves to live in a fool's paradise.


Teachers or rabbis known to have sexually assaulted continue to teach as if nothing ever happened. If worst comes to worst, they may have to move to a different yeshiva or Talmud Torah school. Their victims are ashamed to even share their experiences with their parents. For years, they suffer in silence, enduring the repression and humiliation. Too often, they turn into tomorrow's assailants.


The moment people understand that those dangerous perverts are a certain percentage of the population which has developed a mental-sexual disorder, the moment they are no longer swept inside and protected instead of the victims because "he might change" or "because it may only be a small crisis that will pass," all those existing and future victims will be liberated.


In the meantime, take very good care of your children, and remember, monsters also pray in the synagogue and teach in the Talmud Torah school. "Informing" the welfare services is anonymous and is a mitzvah.


פרסום ראשון: 04.07.08, 11:42
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