Monday, December 10, 2007

Message From Incest Survivor, Naomi -- Regarding rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau

Regarding R'Yisroel Meir Lau
© (2007) By Naomi

Today I read an article about R' Yisroel Meir Lau, the chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, and his horrific experiences as a child during the holocaust. It made me sob because on some level I could deeply relate to that level of trauma and loss...But through my tears and grief I couldn't help thinking that he was lucky. At least as a child he knew who the bad guys were...and they weren't his parents!

When it is your frum parents who are molesting and torturing you and no one notices or helps, it breaks something inside of you. The psychological pain is indescribable. You cease to exist. Your ego and identity are shattered. No matter how hard you work to move past it and live a normal life, your sense of trust in people, in the Torah, and Hashem, is never completely healed. You can not morn your lost family, your lost childhood, and lost self, like a holocaust survivor can. You can't even talk about your experiences without people doubting and questioning your memories. Most people who you tell beg you to deny...They plead with you to recant...They can not let you rock their world in this way. They can not begin to question their faith in Rabbonim and in Daas Torah. You must be crazy. You must be wrong. You wish with every ounce of your being that you could agree with them..

... If only I had lost my family in the holocaust and not in this cruel confusing way, I could cry aloud and people would cry with me! They would understand my grief, anger, and pain and my need to talk about it. Instead I sit an endless shiva in secret isolation. No one really wants to listen or to believe me. I sit in a shiva of shame. I cry alone.

There are people who deny that the holocaust ever happened, and we are incredulous. We personally know survivors! How can they be so evil? Are frum people who deny the personal holocaust of any survivor of sexual abuse any different? What they are doing is cruel. What they are doing is wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong in thinking noone cares or beleives. Other victims, and orthodox jewry has hundreds, know yur pain and believe your story. I was fondeled by my dean at the gerer yeshiva in brooklyn and till toda noone believes me. but we sex victims have eachother to lean on.

December 03, 2007 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. I am also an incest survivor and was cut off from my family. In my case it wasn't from an orthodox rabbi. Instead it was from the influence my father had over the rest of the family.

I agree with you 100% about how holocaust survivors had other holocaust survivors to back up their stories. When your an incest survivor it's your word against your parents.

There's also differences between survivors of rabbis and survivors of incest. At least in some cases of clergy sexual abuse the survivor may be able to get help from their parents. In cases of incest, we often turn to other adults, including rabbis for help. That's exactly what I did. My rabbi was very loving and kind at first and then he realized that I would be easy to victimize.

I learned early on that I couldn't trust adults. To this day I keep to myself as much as possible. I think that's why I became a veterinarian.

December 03, 2007 3:15 PM  

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