Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reasoning Behind Rabbi Moshe Heinemann's Letter

The following information is posted on The Awareness Center's web page regarding Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro:

Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
April 18, 2007

The Following letter was posted in Agudath Israel of Baltimore by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann as a reaction to the Baltimore Jewish Times publishing a story regarding Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. During a meeting with Rabbi Heinemann he disclosed that his issue with the Jewish Times was with the fact that Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro had passed away and that he could not be offered the opportunity to defend himself. He also added that over the years the Baltimore Jewish Times has been repeatedly "Orthodox bashing". He went to on to say that this was not fair to the family members of Shapiro who did nothing wrong, and it would hurt family members chances of getting a good shiddach (marriage partner). Please note that Phil Jacobs, author of the series on sexual abuse in the Jewish community and is the senior editor of Baltimore Jewish Times is an orthodox Jew.

4/18/2007 (11:30 pm) -- I was told by a reliable source that the sign posted was taken down this afternoon. I was also told that the ban against the Baltimore Jewish Times is still implemented.

I'm suggesting that everyone buy two copies of the Baltimore Jewish Times this week. It's one very loud and clear message to Rabbi Heinemann that this type of behavior is not going to work to silence survivors from speaking out. It's time to double the sales of the Baltimore Jewish Times.


Blogger nyfunnyman said...

i get the "dead" reason, am luke warm on the "doesn't get a chance to defend himself" reason, but do not get the shidduch reason. if the person was alive would RMH say we shouldn't expose him b/c people in his family won't get a shidduch?i would hope not

April 19, 2007 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even before this article, the authentic Jewish character of the BJT was very questionable. I would not let something claiming to be "Jewish" with such content in my house, not before and not now.

April 19, 2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the more worldly, educated members of the frum community are duly concerned about the caliber of leadership demonstrated by this influential rabbi in Baltimore. And I hope no parents of a child who reports abuse EVER turn to Rabbi H. for guidance. Clearly he is not prepared to deal with this issue, except in the abstract. More importantly, he shows no insight into protecting the longterm health and safety of the community and its children -- beyond maintaining the yichus of a molester's family! Where is the wisdom, insight and compassion for the true child victims of R. Shapiro ??? and current/future victims of other men wearing a kippah and davening every day? Yet another example of embarassing, narrow-minded ignorance from an ultra-orthodox rabbi. It makes one simply cringe.

April 19, 2007 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Mottel said...

I am not a regular reader, but very involved in this issue. You are both right. Heinemann, however, is not a phony. He is misguided and one of the older generation who continue to cover ups of rabbinic abuse. What a shame.

April 20, 2007 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

without getting into the issue itself,you should all know that the letter is an obvious phony!
Anyone that knows Rabbi Heinaman is aware of the style of hebrew writing he employs. He uses alo Rashi letters.
The picture is not shown with the wall /backround at the Agudah.
Even supporters of this web-site should be aware of the shananigans some go through to make their perhaps valid point

April 22, 2007 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mottel and Annonymous 4/19 8:54PM

#1 - You don't get it! WHat would you do if I got your name and made an "accusation" that you - or your grandfather - molested someone? I have been on these blogs until I could stand it no longer. I happen to know two cases personally that indeed that was the case - an accusation by a misguided accusor! Meanwhile, the accused person has been smeared and the accusor is still believed! Rabbi S has been "accused." Not convicted in any court. In halacha, the accusation in enough to warn people to be protective but not to accept as fact. The uninformed readers have been fed an article presented as fact. Misrepresentation indeed.

#2 - I had a personal situation with Rabbi H. My son came home late Friday night. (details kept short). Someone asked him to learn with him in a deserted Bais Medrash. This person is a famous person. He put his hand on my son's lap and was discussing personal topics. Thank G-D my son felt uneasy and said his parents would wonder where he is so late. He declined the invitation to be walked home by him. Thank G-D my son came home and told my wife who woke me up. My son did not recognize the name of the person to be famous. I could not believe it and interrogated my son to make sure he understood the implication of his story. The next morning in shul I brought my son over to Rabb H and had him deliver his story. I told Rabbi H that I was not convinced that my son got it right and that I suggest that he investigate. Within 1 hour Rabbi H had thrown that famous person out and warned him never to return.
He had returned and said he had bought a house. Rabbi H was made aware of that and the person has not been seen here again. I complained to Rabbi H for taking such a hard stance and how could he be sure. Rabbi H said - I took care of him.

April 22, 2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Vicki Polin said...

To the anonymous writer who posted that the letter must be a phony (April 22, 2007 7:42 AM).

I met with Rabbi Heinemann last week and discussed the letter he wrote and posted on the wall of his synagogue. The letter is authentic.

April 22, 2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous vicki Polin said...

To anonymous - April 22, 2007 7:42 AM.

Do you know if Rabbi Heinemann notified the police? If an individual touched a minor in any inappropriate manor, child protection and the Baltimore Police should be notified immediately. This should be done prior to bringing it to the attention of any rabbi. Let the police investigate the crimes. If someone was inappropriate with one child, the odds are that he or she was inappropriate with others.

April 22, 2007 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Vicky @ April 22, 2007 11:42 AM

thanx for clarification

April 22, 2007 4:00 PM  

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