Showing posts from November, 2009

Will Motty Borger’s Suicide Make Any Difference?

Motty & Mali Borger had been married for just two days when Motti “fell” from a seventh-floor balcony at the Avenue Plaza Hotel on 13th Avenue at 47th Street in Brooklyn, NY.

It is reported that Motty had disclosed to his new bride that he was a victim of sex abuse, and that when she was asleep, he went to the balcony and threw himself off.

I have no idea as to the veracity of the reports about the background to the Motty Borger case. We should clearly leave the investigation to the police and relevant authorities, while encouraging anyone with information related to the case to report it immediately to the police. 

What is certain, is that the effects of child-abuse often have long term impact upon the victims/survivors, resulting in severe psychological, psychiatric and physical illness even decades later; and there are many cases in which abuse victims have tragically resorted to suicide.

Indeed there is initial research which indicates that the abuse as a child even results in …

Pedophiles in Priestly Clothing

Illustrative Photo 

Case study: The Irish Catholic Church and Pedophile Clerics

There is a most amazing report now available on-line, which documents the performance of the Catholic Church in Dublin, Ireland in responding to complaints of clerical sex abuse of children.

The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation was established to report on the handling by Church and State authorities of a representative sample of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against clerics operating under the aegis of the Archdiocese of Dublin over the period 1975 to 2004.

It follows parallel reports by the Attorney General for Massachusetts about sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Boston, and the Ryan Report about Children’s Homes in Ireland.

The investigative committee worked through over 100,000 pages of records and documentation, and was delayed by a senior priest suing the commission in order to impede their work. The investigation cost the tax payer over 3 million euros. It was comple…

Shalit Deal Catastrophic?

As the Israeli Government, on the one hand, and Hamas leaders on the other, edge towards a deal to return Gilad Shalit to Israel (apparently via Egypt), many question the price to be paid for his release.

Israel has historically been willing to release many hundreds of convicted, imprisoned terrorists in exchange for  each Israeli hostage/captive. The reports in the press present a similar deal is in the offing for Shalit.

There is an excellent (IMHO) article on the halachik views regarding such deals at:

From a strategic and military point of view, Rami Igra, who served as head of the Mossad's Prisoners and MIAs department, spoke to Israel National Radio:

Right to Demonstrate?

For the second Shabbat running, a large crowd demonstrated against the desecration of Shabbat at Intel, which employs some two dozen Jewish workers in Jerusalem on the Sabbath.

There are mutual allegations of violence; the police have arrested demonstrators for damaging property; whereas the demonstration's organizers, the Eida Chareidit, have accused the police of wanton violence. The alleged use of illegal means by the demonstrators has evoked stinging criticism by the secular press, and embarrassment amongst some erstwhile chareidi supporters.

There is apparently nothing new about Intel's practice of employing Jews on Shabbat (Intel claim to have been doing this, with the relevant government approvals, for over ten years), so the timing of the row has attracted some criticism; there are those who accuse the demonstrators of seeking out artificial 'causes' to rally their forces for political motives (the chareidi candidate lost the last Jerusalem election for mayor),…

Mazal Tov to the Children of Israel

Three year old Michal arrived at the hospital unconscious after having suffered extreme physical abuse at the hands of her uncle. During her three years she was severely beaten, burned and sexually abused. Michal died in the hospital after five months in a coma. During her three years of torture, nobody knew what was happening. Nobody heard anything. Nobody saw anything. Not family, not neighbors, not friends. Nobody said a word. As a result of this case, the Israel National Council for the Child initiated legislation – the Mandatory Reporting Law – requiring the reporting of any suspicion of abuse to the police or social services.

(From the Israel National Council for the Child).

Mazaltov Kids. The Mandatory Reporting Law for Child Abuse celebrates its 20th Anniversary.

The Mandatory Reporting Law (1989) in Israel is stricter than equivalent child-protection legislation in many other countries.

For example, in many States in the USA, only professionals are required to report suspicions …

Jewish Press Carries Our Review of "Tempest in the Temple"

This week's Jewish Press, the largest independent Jewish newspaper in the USA, has published Tzedek-Tzedek's review of "Tempest in the Temple".

Hopefully this is another nail in the coffin of "Denial; Blame The Victim; Circle the Wagons" - which has been a characteristic response to child abuse in some Jewish communities.

Why You Didn't Know Maj.Hasan is a Palestinian Terrorist

If his name was Major Smith, you probably wouldn't know he was a Muslim.

But he was called Major Nidal Malik Hasan, so everyone knew within minutes that the murderer of 13 US soldiers in Fort Hood Army Base, is a Muslim. That he was shouting the terrorist/jihad war-cry "Allah Akbar" while murdering his victims, was also something of a give-away.

However, senior US Army officers are downplaying the significance of Hasan's Muslim faith, including Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey who cautioned against linking the murders to the perpetrator's faith "We need to be very careful about that...the speculation could lead to backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers" adding "our diversity gives us strength".

Americans I spoke with this week were unaware that Maj. Hasan is not simply a Muslim, or even "a Jordanian" (as has occasionally been reported) ... but that he is a Palestinian.

This is because neither the Army, nor the Government, nor t…

When Does Reporting Become Ratting?

From Goldstone to Child Abuse

Every child knows that his decision to report alleged misdemeanors by his fellows in the school-ground to an adult, carries with it a risk of being labeled, and often treated, as a ratter or sneak.

Retired South African judge Richard Goldstone, who has put his name behind the deeply critical Goldstone Report about the Gaza “Cast Lead” campaign, is Jewish and even has “deep ties” to Israel. Goldstone has served as a trustee of the Hebrew University and a president emeritus of World ORT, the Jewish organization that is a leader in vocational training and education.

Goldstone describes himself as a Zionist, and says that he was motivated to head the UN Human Rights investigative committee on Gaza as means of helping Israel: “I was driven particularly because I thought the outcome might, in a small way, assist the peace process,” he told the Forward.

In the Jerusalem Post. Goldstone says: "My first wish and hope is that there would be open inquiry in Is…

Shaking Your Baby to Death

Anyone who has been a parent, or who has cared for other people’s babies, knows how frustrating it can be when the baby cries…and cries…and cries…oh, my goodness, and CRIES...

An average baby cries for 2-3 HOURS each day. And 20-30% of babies cry considerably more than that.

“Stop crying! Stop it will you! Oh STOP IT!”

Add to the situation the carer's physical and emotional exhaustion, and also the exhaustion of regular baby-care techniques (feeding, changing, cuddling…you name it) - and many carers have, in desperation, shaken their baby.

Sometimes, this shaking actually seems to work – as the baby might indeed stop crying and become passive, sleepy, subdued after being shaken. So the initial shaking in anger/frustration can even become a “technique” for stopping the baby from crying.

Whether from just one shaking episode (typically even less than 20 seconds) or from several shakings, the damage to the baby’s brain can be devastating. People are literally shaking their babies t…