Solidarity With Orot Banot

The struggle for Orot Banot will (literally) take a step forward, with the large demonstration planned for Sunday evening.

This follows the "Gigantic Demonstration" (Hafganat Anak) of the kannoim/extremists on Wednesday night.

That rally was attended by an estimated 400 people, including many children. By most accounts, this falls far short of the "anak" title, and must have been a set-back for the kannoim.

Regretfully, it was also attended by a clutch of otherwise respectable rabbonim.

The scandal of the blessing-of-silence of the mainstream Chareidi community on the behaviour of the extremists, continues and was epitomised by Rav Malinowitz' evasive article in this week's Chodosh free local newspaper.

Rav Malinowitz' previous column last week ramblingly promised to address the issue of Orot Banot, and seemed to propose a moral equivalency between the young girls of Orot (who wish to attend an orthodox school), and the extremist kannoim (trying to kick the girls out of the school while hurling physical and verbal abuse at them). "These are holy, and these are holy".

Rav Malinowitz stepped back from the brink in this week's column, and wrote that he'd decided to avoid the subject entirely by writing about something entirely different (I don't recall what).

The one positive example of moderate Chareidi leadership has been set by the lone-voice of Council Member R.Eli Friedman of the Tov Party, who has published clear public statements, in support of the girls of Orot Banot, and slamming the behaviour of the kannoim.

The Demonstration on Sunday evening, from 18:15 till 19:15 is aimed to bring together all non-extremist elements of our city - to promote tolerance and mutual respect - and to give chizuk to the embattled young girls of Orot Banot.

Kudos to the organizers - in particular Rav Dov Lipman and his team!


  1. david,
    as usual, you are one of the only voices of reason in our very troubled (and troubling) community. keep up the good work!

  2. I'm sorry but did you expect one who protects child abusers to come out against those who are abusing children?

  3. Mayer,

    It is true that the actions of the kannoim are abusive to the girls, and may have traumatic effects on the children.

    I'm not a therapist. I believe the parent body should be consulting with therapists trained in this area (I can provide names for those parents who are interested to address the problem at this level).

    There is even a disturbing question about the relationship between the protesters' shouts of "pritzus" (sexual licentiousness), as related to ten year old frum, modestly dressed, school girls - and pedophilia.

    As for you describing Rav Malinowitz being "one who protects child abusers" -this is a misleading statement, which I object to.

    Rav Malinowitz clearly does not support child abuse, nor intend to protect abusers.
    Rav Malinowitz' intentions are clearly to protect children.

    I do hold that the *methods* used by Rav Malinowitz and some other community rabbonim for 'dealing with' allegations of child abuse have been discredited and damaging.

    My long standing machlokes/debate is solely regarding "shitta"/methodology, and not, chas vechalila, regarding any ill intentions.

    Indeed - in a reasonable and balanced discussion, I think Rav Malinowitz and I would agree on far more than our disagreements, and I still hold out the hope that we can work together in this area of child protection, which is important to both of us.

  4. Going to the Rally said25 September 2011 at 13:36

    David, then why did Beis Tefilla, Malinowitz's shul honor a Pedophile from Dolev (currently on trial) with an honorable mention in their newsletter for his financial support to the shul? And yes, you know that they are aware of this Pedophile.

  5. David: "..child protection, which is important to both of us."

    Are you kidding?

    Child protection is important to you. You have proven that, beyond any reasonable doubt in the amazing work of Lema'an Achai and now Magen.

    However, Rabbinical Authority is the *only* thing which is important to R.Malinowitz (and all Agudah rabbonim). Preserving and enhancing their power and authority.

    These rabbonim are perfectly willing to sacrifice all our children on that altar. And in practice, they do.

  6. "a Pedophile from Dolev (currently on trial) "


  7. David, At this time of year I have been working very hard on my anger toward certain rabbonim and the best I have come to, which really helped actually, is to accept their humanness. They are completely wrong and dangerously so, but they are human beings, making mistakes. And Giavah is a human weakness. And I can forgive them for their human weaknesses.

    I don't accept their actions. I hold them accountable for the damage they have done. I would never trust them again. The children, when they are old enough, are the only ones who can actually forgive them, if they choose to, for their role in the cover up and protection of the pedophiles which allowed many of these children to get hurt.

    As for your hope in the tshuva of the rabbonim, I think that is a weakness, which I shared, but am working to overcome. It has gotten much easier when this nachalot crisis happened, and I saw the online community respond with such appropriateness and support. Then I realized, there is no excuse for our local rabbonim to make (and stand firm on) the mistakes they have made (other than the human error I mentioned).

    When our community faces reality,that certain rabbonim have failed us, then we can move on to be better advocates for the children and families, and not risk their well being with the hopes that the rabbonim will 'do it right this time'.



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