Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rabbi Yosef Blau - Marc Gafni and Jewish Renewal

Rabbi Yosef Blau

The following was posted on Jewschool

Rabbi Yosef Blau said:
May 17, 2006 at 8:33 am

Some critics of Jewish Renewal are responding to the accusations against Mordechai Gafni by criticising the movement. This should not lead to the defensive response of refusing to reevaluate the tragic dismissal of earlier accusations. I have known Mordechai for at least twenty five years starting when he was a student and during the years that he functioned as an Orthodox rabbi. The young women who complained then and have never modified their stories, did not receive much of a hearing then from an Orthodox rabbinate that was impressed by his charisma and talent. A number of us, followed a career of short periods of brilliance as a head of an outreach program, a teacher and a congregational rabbi each ending suddenly with rumor of scandal. After changing his name and moving to Israel the pattern repeated itself.

The only thorough investigation of the accusations was made by a private investigator in Israel in 1997 and it did not clear him. Based on my ongoing conversations with women who had made accusations, which was only a portion of the dossier prepared by the private investigator, the supposed investigations by various rabbis two years ago were minimal and their testimony not heard. I suggest that all the defenders read the long interview with Rabbi Gafni in the magazine (sof hashavua) of Maariv Oct. 15, 2004. If he is sick, then it is not the kind of illness that suddenly strikes someone in his mid forties and his earlier behavior should reevaluated accordingly.

Whether one supports Jewish Renewal or not is irrelevant to the fundamental issue of protecting women from abuse from an authority figure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Gafni/Winiarz guy is one sick, sick ,sick puppy and those who allowed him to continue his abuse of young women are as guilty as those who allowed B.Lanner to continue his abuse.
Nothing, not money, not "kiruv", not charisma, NOTHING is worth allowing something like this to continue unchecked and unaddressed.
Gafni/Winiarz perverted Torah for his own sexual gratification and was aided by these rabbis who would simply not listen.

After MISTER Gafni/Winiarz gets his treatment/therapy, he would be better off driving a cab.

May 18, 2006 10:18 PM  

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