Sunday, November 12, 2006

Maybe we should wear sack cloth for the Agunahs as well...

The front page of the Jewish Press has a picture of frum protestors wearing sack cloth in “mourning” over the gay pride march. The caption on the picture indicates that these are Rabbis protesting against the march by gay activists in Israel. I find it hard to feel that we need a “pride march”, in Israel, for anyone’s sexual orientation. The Torah celebrates the institution of marriage between a man and a woman (or as it is called in Hebrew – Kiddushin (sanctification) - as marriage, is of course, holy by it’s very nature). Don’t get me wrong. I am not throwing any rocks at anyone and I don’t feel that we should be judging anyone. Tolerance and respect should be the focus of our efforts. But still I am troubled by the picture, in the Jewish Press, because of something else that happened this week.

The Agunah conference was also cancelled. (An Agunah is a woman who is left in a state of “marriage-limbo” because her husband refuses – even after many years – to grant her a religious divorce. As a result the Agunah cannot remarry under Jewish law.) This conference was supposed to be an effort to address this long standing community problem.

We should be a whole lot more upset about the complacency of our community and our Rabbinical leaders in not addressing this serious issue. But yet we find that many Rabbinical leaders expect the Agunah to suffer in silence, just as they also expect the victims of Rabbinical abuse to suffer in silence as well.

Where is their sack cloth on this issue? If we sit by and allow the Agunah to suffer than we do share the guilt for not addressing this terrible problem. In the same way we also share in the guilt for not aggressively pursing Rabbis who are guilty of using their positions to sexually abuse others. Way too many cases have come to light for us to ignore this problem within our community – which is all too often covered up by the religious community. The Jewish Press continues to lie and attack those who have the courage to come forward. Rabbi Klass truly believes that we need to hold tight onto our myth that Jews are perfect and we must never admit that there are any problems in our community. He is willing to destroy other people to push this view.

I don’t honestly feel that Israel needs a gay pride march. But I am lot more upset that we are too afraid to chase after husbands who refuse to grant their wives a Jewish divorce and we are too afraid to publicize and stop the evil people who sexually abuse others (which enables them to abuse other victims). But yet once again we put on our sack cloth when it is safe and convenient to do so. When will we learn that spiritually, we need to address these issues with courage and honesty?

It should be no surprise that how we address these issues has a direct effect upon us, individually and as a community. When we learn to redeem those who are helpless we will surely see that Hashem will redeem us – please – speedily in our days.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jewish Survivors Of Sexual Violence said...

Glad to see that you are back up and running.

9:22 PM  
Blogger frumguy said...

I am always out there. Sometimes I want to post, but I usually take a little extra time to make sure that my words cannot be misunderstood. Your blog is amazing and a tremendous inspiration to all of us! We stand together and we stand united!

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jewish Survivors said...

This is on The Awareness Center's web page on rabbi Horowitz. He got his start molesting kids in Maryland back in the 1980's.

www.theawarenesscenter.org/horowitz_alan.html

"Alan Horowitz, 39, a Maryland psychiatrist licensed to practice in North Carolina, surrendered his N.C. license in July after pleading guilty in Maryland to ``an unlawful and unnatural, perverted sexual practice with a 12- year-old male."

Horowitz is now 60.


CALL TO ACTION:
Calling for the "Defrocking" of Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz - Convicted Sex Offender

The Awareness Center, Inc. is demanding that the Orthodox Union (OU), the Rabbinic Council of America (RCA) and Agudath Israel of America make a public statements denouncing the actions and behavior of Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz. By not doing so is condoning this serial child molesters criminal behavior.

The Awareness Center, Inc. is also demanding that rabbis around the world find a way to remove Alan Horowitz's rabbinical ordination and that of other known sexual predators (who are ordained rabbis).

At this time we are unaware how Rabbi Horowitz received his rabbinic ordination, yet it is known that it was from an orthodox source. The only way to revoke an ordination is for the rabbi who granted the title to revoke it. In some circles they see ordination as a degree that can never be taken away. According to Jewish tradition once an individual becomes a rabbi, halachicly he/she can ordain another individual.

In the past both the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America), Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America have stated that there is nothing they could do regarding Rabbi Horowitz since was he not a member of their organization.

Rabbi Horowitz is a convicted sex offender. Be aware that it takes a village to raise a sex offender and to enable them to continue molesting children or raping adults. Rabbi Horowitz is everyone's responsibility, including all rabbinical organizations, rabbis and Jewish communities.

It is time for all of us to stop passing the buck. Do the right thing, publicly denounce this man and remove his rabbinic ordination!

Contact Information:
Rabbinical Council of America (RCA)
Rabbi Marc Dratch - Chairman of the RCA's Task Force on Rabbinic Improprieties
Phone: 203-858-9691
info@jsafe.org

Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice President
Phone: 212-807-7888 x 5
bherring@rabbis.org
_____________________________

Orthodox Union
Rabbi Hershy (Tzvi) Weinreb
execthw@ou.org
_____________________________
Agudath Israel of America
Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, Executive Vice President
Rabbi Avi Shafran,
(212) 797-9000
shafran@agudathisrael.org

Photo of Rabbi Avi Shafranhttp://www.thejewishweek.com/upload/Dra.gifThe image “http://www.ou.org/oupr/2003/rherring.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.http://www.thejewishweek.com/upload/1WEINREB.gif
Avi Shafran /Mark Dratch /Basil Herring/Hershy Weinreb
_____________________________
Background Information

Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz, MD, is a convicted sex offender, an ordained Orthodox rabbi and an adolescent psychiatrist. He is married with one child and seven step-children.

Allegations of child abuse have followed Horowitz for decades. In Maryland, he was convicted in 1983 of performing an unnatural sexual act on the 12-year-old boy who was his patient. Allegedly, Horwitz has assaulted a string of children from California to Israel to New York in the past twenty years. Alan J. Horowitz is a rabbi, magna cum laude, M.D., Ph.D., a graduate of Duke University, and a writer for NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) publications.

In 1990 and 1991, Horowitz was charged with sexually abusing two boys under the age of 11, a boy less than 14 years old and a girl under the age of 17. On July 27, 1992, Horowitz pled guilty to sodomizing a nine-year-old psychiatric patient as part of a plea agreement. The charge was but one of the 41 pending sex-related charges involving multiple children that had been pending against him. Horowitz was sentenced to ten to twenty years in prison.

Rabbi Horowitz was released on conditional parole November 1, 2004 from Oneida Prison, NY. According to the New York Sex Offender Registry he was Designation: Sexually Violent Offender and Predicate Sex Offender level three sex offender). It is listed that his victims ranged in age from age 8 to 14.

On May 22, 2007 Rabbi Alan Horowitz was caught in India leaving a trail of new child victims. Horwoitz was in violation of his parole since June, 2006. He will be extradited back to the US.

9:18 PM  

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