[Avodah] Confronting sexual abuse in the Jewish community

Kenneth Miller via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Thu Jul 16 07:01:37 PDT 2015

I wrote on Areivim:

> Of course it is important to protect future victims, but that is
> not the only consideration here. What about the fallout to the
> family of the victim, to the family of the perpetrator, and to
> the community as a whole?

(For those who have not been following on Areivim: Personally, I am all in favor of protecting the victims, but I know that my opinions might be heavily influenced by the society in which I live. My suggestion is that our chachamim are the only ones qualified to decide on any particular case, whether it might be better to whitewash an incident, so that the family and/or community are not hurt by the publicity.)

R' Eli Turkel responded here on Avodah:

> Can you give a place in shas or SA where the punishment of a
> crime accounts for the pain to the family
> If someone deserves the death penalty (there is no jail in
> halacha)  as far as I know the bet din does not take into
> account that the family who are innocent will also be
> punished.
> If someone is sent to "ir miklat" the yeshiva goes with him,
> we don't remove the punishment because it affects the whole
> community

These are excellent points. But then I must ask: Haven't there been times and situations when legitimate gedolim have paskened to hush things up because of other considerations? Would someone say that all such cases come from gedolim whose outlook is NOT Torah-based?

I wish I could cite specific examples for discussion. Unfortunately, my knowledge of such things is far too limited. But surely this attitude must have come from somewhere, and did not materialize from nothingness.

Akiva Miller
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