Thursday, January 24, 2008

Batdina "Ask's the Rabbi"

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"Ask the Rabbi"

© (2008) By Batdina

I have some questions for the kiruv (outreach) rabbi who sexually abused me:

  1. How many Jews do you have to bring closer to God to make up for distancing one from God?
  2. The Talmud talks a lot about damages and how to repay someone. How can you repay me for the damage you've caused me?
  3. How can one human being do to another human being what you did to me?
  4. I wish he'd answer me and acknowledge my existence and the pain he inflicted on me. I wish there were even answers to my questions.
  5. I joke that he was an outreach rabbi who reached too far. It is a shame that people like him are corrupting our religion.
If there are any rabbis out there who can attempt to answer my questions, I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I totally understand where you are coming from. I ask the same thing about the rabbi who lured me in. I did not grow up religious, yet I wanted to learn. I trusted someone who I should not have trusted. I thought that a rabbi was supposed to represent G-d.

I also joked about my outreach rabbi reaching out too far. I thought he loved me. I thought he really cared. I was so stupid. He violated a sacred trust.

I had to quit lighting shabbos candles because when I light them I hear his voice teaching me the bracha. Forget about davening, because I don't want to do anything that reminds me of him. I quit going to shul. I quit hanging out in the frum world. I got sick and tired of everyone telling me I was speaking loshon hara when I tried to get help.

I also have the same questions you do. I know your pain all too well.

I feel deceived by those who I thought represented goodness, I thought they represented G-d.

There's no mikvah that can purify soul. This man, this rabbi committed soul murder.

January 24, 2008 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no answer to your questions. An answer would somehow excuse what that Rabbi did to you and would somehow minize the pain caused to you. This must never happen. His sin is real and your pain is even more real. No reasons, no excuses.

Just think about the following:

Judaism is perfect but Jews are not. We should use Judasim to get ourselves closer to perfection and not to cover our flaws and pain inflicted on others.

January 25, 2008 4:24 AM  
Blogger Rachel Tzipporah said...

I feel the same way as Batdina. And you know what people say to me?

"But look how many people he has brought closer to Torah! Look how much good he has done!"

Yes - but no one talks about how many people have left Torah because of him, who are haunted with these same questions as this woman and I.

And do we not throw a mob man in jail, even though he is wonderful to his mother? Kal v'chomer - all the more so here!

I have no answers, I have the same questions. All I can say is that the Torah is true despite a horrible "Rabbi" who fakes adhering to it, and that real, kosher Rabbonim exist. Don't lose your relationship to Hashem because of someone who has none.

January 25, 2008 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former Executive Director of Manitoba Kosher plead guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography. He is to be sentenced shortly.

January 25, 2008 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was sexually assaulted by a chiropractor I went to for help after a head injury. That was five years ago, and I am just starting to get past the symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

After the assault I was so distrustful of "professionals" that I could hardly get myself to go through the trying process of finding a good therapist, though I knew I desperately needed one. I called one therapist recommended by a friend. This therapist told me she'd call me the next day, but instead got back to me several days later (I was spending every minute of those days trying to fend off panic attacks and a nervous breakdown), and told me she wouldn't take me as a client because I had told her I might sue the doctor, and if I did, she'd have to testify.

A second therapist I went to, who specialized in treating trauma, spent the first 20 minutes of our 50 minute session making a date for the next session and telling me that because she was so popular she couldn't see me longer than 6 weeks. I ended that session early, in tears from her callousness. In desperation I went to a counselor on staff at a sexual violence center, who was disturbed and creepy, and seemed to get excited when she asked me to tell her exactly what happened.

My panic attacks continued until I spent a half hour talking to this woman who had been assaulted by a minister. She was very kind, and made all the difference in the world by listening with compassion and outrage, and affirming for me the gravity of the violation. (It was just a grope, my mind kept telling me.) She briefly told me what she had been through, and how her community turned against her when she spoke out. Mostly she helped because she kept saying to me, "It wasn't your fault. It wasn't your fault." (How did she know that I was secretly blaming myself? I wondered. Now I realize that most victims do.)

My major symptoms didn't disappear for years (I'm still experiencing some of them to a lesser degree) but it was after talking to her that my panic attacks mostly stopped. Those are what scared me most because I was afraid I was going to lose my mind when they struck.

I did eventually file a complaint with health department. The investigator was a pervert himself who read my complaint like a piece of pornography, commenting in a woo-woo voice how "explicit" I had been in my description! Needless to say, I eventually got a letter from the department saying my complaint was "unfounded."

Anyway, I had these thoughts in response to Batdina's post: The rabbi can't possibly repay you for the damage he caused you, even if he was willing to try.

But I know what a positive difference that woman who had been assaulted by a minister had made for me in a half hour. We can do what we can to try to get justice, and to change the world, and let God deal with the rest. I believe no one escapes God's knowledge of such crimes, and the damage they cause. But those who have been the targets of sexual violence can become blessings, to themselves, or to other people who otherwise would have no one else to turn to, no one else to say, "It wasn't your fault."

January 25, 2008 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous January 25, 2008 4:24 AM said:

"Judaism is perfect but Jews are not. We should use Judasim to get ourselves closer to perfection and not to cover our flaws and pain inflicted on others."

I'm tired of rabbis giving this excuse. I do not see Judaism as perfect. If it was those in leadership would be behaving differently. I won't practice any form of religion until the leaders care more about those who have been sexually abused and protecting the next unsuspecting victim then they do about their own images.

For every halkah they throw at us, there's another one that proves them wrong. I'm sick and tired of the BS.

January 26, 2008 9:43 AM  

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