Saturday, July 08, 2006

What is Judaism Anyway?

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The Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out blog is about 1 1/2 years old.

When I first started blogging I thought I had a pretty clear concept of what it was to be a Jew. Now I'm completely confused.

From what I've been seeing and learning, it's quiet embarrassing to say that I'm from the same tribe as Shlomo Aviner, Saul Berman, Ephraim Bryks, Marc Gafni, Rabbi David Kaye, Yehuda Kolko, Shlomo Carlebach, Yaakov Menken, Yona Metzger, David Lipman, Joseph Telushkin, Mordecai Tendler, Matis Weinberg -- just to name a few. . .

The rabbis listed above are all individuals who have or had leadership roles. What sickens me the most is that the majority of these rabbis are still in a position of power.

Each day that goes by -- another unsuspecting individual or child is at risk of harm because there is so much apathy in our communities.

A friend of mine who is an advocate was told by her rabbi to stop doing her life's work. The rabbi told her she's NIC (Not In Control). To let things slide.

When she shared this conversation with me, I couldn't help but wonder if this is what happened in many shtels back in the 1930's?

How many rabbis told community members who wanted to fight back against the Nazi's, that they were NIC?

I always wondered what would have happened if more Jews fought back?

How is anyone supposed to respect our rabbinic leaders when they have spent years covering up for sex offenders?

How many more times will people like me be told "this is how it's been done"!

I'll be honest with you, that is NOT the acceptable answer any more.

The time has come to demand that our rabbis and community leaders be educated. They need to have the same passion about learning Torah as they do for learning how to help those who have been sexually violated.

I'll be honest with you -- I have not found one movement in Judaism that can deal with allegations of sex crimes adequately. Believe me I've been looking.

It's funny though -- each movement in Judaism has told me that their way of being "Jewish" is the truth.

If each version of Judaism has the "truth," why is it that have not been able to find a way to "defrock rabbis"? Or to help survivors heal?

I've lost faith in the majority of our rabbis and in the Jewish systems. To me they are far from the "Truth."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now believe all forms of organized religion are corrupt.

July 09, 2006 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I agree with you 100%.

It sickens me too. I've been searching to find some sort of spiritual something. I wanted answers to why I was abused as a child. After 10 years of searching, I've given up on finding answers from God.

I've walked away from things that are Jewish.

July 10, 2006 12:07 PM  

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