Rabbi Menachem Goldberger of Baltimore - Speaks On Child Sexual Abuse
From anonymous e-mail
Rabbi Menachem Goldberger one of the signators of the letter, spoke about this in his Shabbos drasha on April 21, 2007.
He made the following points:
- We have to face this terrible matter straightforwardly. Speak to our children candidly about how to walk away from strangers, not to talk to them, etc. Even if that means that they lose some of their childish innocence, that's what's required.
- We rabbis didn't understand the depth of this problem years ago.
- We must engage mental health professionals who have a good understanding of these matters to assist us.
- Predators can be, and often are, teachers, camp counselors, family members---adults whom children know and respect.
- Knowledge is key. We must know who the registered offenders are and alert our friends and neighbors. This must be done.
- We must be concerned about false allegations, too.
- We rabbis here in Baltimore intend to adopt a plan moving forward so we can prevent this from happening again.
Nothing wrong with most of it, except I disagree with 2 thoughts:
- He should have mentioned that rabbis should be added to the list of offenders. It's not just camp counselors. Having rabbis on the list is most egregious.
- He should realize by now that these matters are way over his head (he, and they, admitted it in the letter and his speech), and all the other rabbis of the Vaad. So, please, no more plans about how NOW you're going to save Klal Yisroel. You had your chance. You don't get a second bite of the apple. Focus on other things. When child abuse crops up, alert the police , the DA, Child Welfare, and go back and study Torah. We'll all be better off.