Dangerously Delusional Rabbis


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Rabbi Meir Kahane
This plague is even more severe than I had imagined.

I am getting used to the idea that rabbonim in positions of trust and authority can abuse that trust and authority, including to sexually exploit their congregants, students, or other vulnerable parties.

Yes, each time, I am shocked, horrified, but I am no longer particularly surprised. My emotions are knocked each time, but my brain tells me it makes sense.
  
However, (even) I am surprised and shocked by a letter reportedly sent out to his alumni by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Minahel/Director of Chedvas seminary in Israel and a member of Aish Hatorah's faculty.

This letter brings to light a whole world of Orwellian thought-control and double-speak which is apparently endemic in seminaries - and has unfortunately been used to manipulate and take advantage of the girls.

The full letter is below and it's so (frankly) demented, it's hard to know where to start in analyzing it.

Here's a few examples:

1. Rabbi Kahane's opener, that he's "inspired to write to you a letter" - is against a background that the titular head of that seminary, Rabbi Meisels, has been found by the Chicago Beit Din to have molested female students. As a result, the institution's erstwhile good name is in tatters, and the seminary itself is now under threat of closure. "Inspired", indeed.

2. He then starts blathering about the soldier hostage Gilad Shalit and the three murdered boys.

He takes as a given that by encouraging girls to increased levels of modesty by wearing lower length skirts, this had succeeded in saving Gilad Shalit from the hands of Hamas.

However, the same (mad) defence strategy had somehow failed to save the three murdered boys, because God willed it.

3. Adding to this weird train of thought, Kahane refers to the alumini as "my army". "My"? "Army"? Which had "saved Gilad".

The perverse illogic is that because it's really the army who deal with Israel's security (and which Rav Kahane's world has its own anti - he doesn't "rely on the IDF") and Kahane is claiming the girls skirt lengths are the true power that protects Israel from Hamas attacks, then the girls must really be an "army".

And who is the Chief of Staff? - R.Kahane, of course.

Thus "my army".

If it is an army, and it belongs to someone, of course the actual leader was "General" Meisels.

And this rant is promoting the use of long skirts.

The same long skirts which, allegedly, proved no obstacle for R.Meisels "unwanted sexual contact" with these girls.

4. R.Kahane then raises and dismisses the idea of doing a Kinnus (assembly) to promote modesty (rejected due to the logistic impracticality). At which point he gets to the point.

Loshen hara - gossip.

Yesterday's military defense of Israel was girls wearing long skirts. Today's is apparently preventing pointless gossip. If Chedvas girls were stopped from pointlessly gossiping, Hamas will stop firing rockets at Israel's population centers.

5. Although Rabbi Kahane doesn't spell it out, the gossip he's referring to is the revelations by the young female victims of R.Meisels to the Chicago Beit Din.

And who knows what further pending revelations are scaring R.Kahane into an incoherent frenzy.

So, for goodness sake, girls, just shut up, will you.

6. The loshen hoara project (ie shut up any whistle blowers) is still apparently in planning phase, but it will include the use of "buddies" - ie peer monitors, or field officers. The implied threat is that these other alumini will inform on any girls breaking ranks, to General Kahane. These monitors will also be in a position to exert peer pressure and intimidation on any whistle blowers, to shut them up.

In the word where shiduchim are more important to these than any degree, this threat carries some weight.

7. The incentive being offered to drive this whole scheme, is that it will bring moshiach/Messiah.

Understood.

If this had been written by a drunk, or the writer has been professionally certified with a serious personality disorder and is off his meds, then I would not be surprised by this gibbering nonsense.

However, Rabbi Meir Kahane is a respected teacher and is responsible for hundreds of female students.
This demented mind-set is considered acceptable, even honourable and admirable in respectable circles.

This letter only reinforces the Chicago Beit Din's findings that all of Rabbi Meisels' seminaries are currently unsafe for students. And it seriously undermines the Israeli ad-hoc Beit Din, under Rav Shafran, that these seminaries are run by "illustrious educators" who can be "fully entrusted" with their students well-being and safety.

The lunatics are running the mental asylum.

Worse, they're running our girls schools.


From: Meir Kahane <MKahane@aish.com>
Date: July 17, 2014 at 7:03:09 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Dear Chedvas Graduates amus’h,
I am inspired to write you a letter. It was just recently that I was reminiscing about your year. When the three kdoshim were missing, I recalled our mission a few years ago to save Gilad Shalit. I recalled the the dedication with which you worked and the determination. I recalled that you were brave enough to fight a yetzer hara that so many fell prey to. When most girls were wearing skirts above their knees you made a kinnus to teach the world that it’s assur. While the kdoshim were missing, I kept asking myself, where is my army? We saved Gilad, we can save them as well. I have no doubt my army was doing their part. This time, Hashem said no.
But the death of three kdoshim led to war. When things started getting worse the nagging thought kept coming back. Is my army doing its job? While the rest of the world is relying on the IDF, I personally was relying on a different army- you, my Chedvas graduates.
The thought crossed my mind more than once over the past couple of weeks “can we do another kinnus?” Can we do one now to save us from the war? But scattered all over the world, it seemed quite impractical.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu has his ways. And he sent us a nisayon of colossal proportions. It’s as if Hakadosh Baruch is telling us that Klal Yisroel needs major zchuyos, gigantic zchuyos.You be the ones to do it.
All of us know that loshon hara without toeles is assur. At this stage of the very unfortunate situation our school finds itself in, there is no toeles in discussing the situation and its details. And even l’toeles the halacha is that it’s asur to believe it. My Chedvas students. Much of the world is talking about it and much of the world believes it. Do you hear Hashem speaking to us? Hashem is saying Chedvas you be the ones to stay quiet. Hashem is giving us another chance for a kinnus. He’s telling us that he listened to us last time, and wants to listen again. But this time the kinnus will not be on a stage, with signs all over Yerushalayim and a video. It will personal, and quiet, and extremely hard. My students, if we stay strong we can and will change the world.
I never thought we’d have a chance to do this again. Hashem believes in us, so let’s believe in ourselves. Let’s make chizuk projects to be michazek each other, let’s make buddy systems to see if we’re staying in check. I’m ready for volunteers to come up with a mehalach. I have a sinking feeling we’re going to bring Mashiach.
Sources tell us that before Mashiach there will be a big nisayon that will be very hard to pass. Those who do will merit Mashiach. Those who don’t…
I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas on how to initiate this program. I’m happy to make it worldwide.
With tefilos that Hashem should bring everyone back to His Torah, I remain,
Sincerely,
Rabbi Kahane

Comments

  1. To David Morris.
    While I really appreciate your wonderful work and the fact that you really are there for the victim, please have in mind that in this case you REALLY REALLY don't know the facts.Im not Saying that Meisels is innocent but to go from "contact" to much worse.I personally know that you have NO idea what really happened ,you are basing on the info available on line.
    please just leave the story as unbecoming of a seminary head not rapist
    thank you.
    (rabbi shlomo carlebach should not be a seminary head either)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Clarity
      I have no first hand knowledge of the offenses that R.Meisels is alleged to have committed against these girls. I certainly didn't use the word "rapist", as I have no idea if rape was involved. I used "grope" - and have now replaced that with the same language the Chicago Beit Din used - "unwanted sexual contact". This is "unbecoming" not just of a seminary head, but of any civilised human being, and it appears to describe a criminal offense.

      Delete
    2. David,
      You don't know the facts, so why are you using the word "grope". There probably will not be any criminal follow-up , as there was not a criminal act done.In the "Charedi world" , putting a hand on a girl's shoulder is considered "unwanted sexual contact."

      Delete
    3. "Unwanted sexual contact" does not mean putting a hand on a girl's shoulder.
      The term is however ambiguous and covers a range of sexually abusive behaviour. Here is one definition (you can google the term to find others): "The intentional touching of a victim’s, defendant’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of a victim’s, defendant’s or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification."
      I understand from those with first hand information that this term was "coy" in light of the severity of the reported offenses.

      Delete
  2. I see this bizarre letter purportedly from Rabbi Kahane on several places online but I have yet to find a Chedvas alum that actually received it. Can anyone confirm that this letter really was sent by Rabbi Kahane?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanx for your analysis. It's finally becoming clear to the previously unknowing masses how bad the situation is. Noone can seriously claim unfeigned ignorance any more concerning the perps, their enablers, and the rabbis who cover both. In the "joke" about the "lunatics are running the mental asylum", were the lunatics content with the situation, as our communities seem to be?
    And if you remember my experience nearly a year ago with a most senior rabbi in Israel, who would not lift a finger to protect others from a twice jailed perp, the rot goes right to the top, because they certainly cannot pretend they don't know what is going on, and many of them have known for at least 20 years.

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  4. Thank you very much for articulately skewering this nonsense. What frightens me is that there must be a substantial group of people willing to swallow it, or it would never have come to be written.

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    Replies
    1. you're still keeping this post up???? if your already redoing your site take this down. i get why you wrote it, but you missed the boat. he sent this to a few students caused they asked him to, he never intended it for more to see it, some fool sent it to the blogs and they ran with it.. i would take it down. kahane's a big advocate for victims, you jumped the gun. no point in leaving it up. he doesn't deserve it.

      Delete

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