Accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership.
posted by jewishwhistleblower @ 7:26 AM
12/30/2004Blogging and Loshon Hora (Gossip)Filed under: Jewish Media— Yaakov Menken @ 6:04 pm The Jewish Times article (dicussed below) talks about our blog and the perceived media bias against observant Jewry, but also talks about the inherent conflict between journalism and Judaism. It is difficult to be a good journalist and follow the rules against lashon harah, gossip or evil speech… Journalism schools teach that all information is good and as long as it is presented accurately and in the proper context, what people do with that information is not the journalist’s problem.This was an appropriate part of the article, because it explains in part why there are so few Orthodox journalists. Since most journalists are therefore on the outside looking in, a substantial part of the distorted portrayal of Torah observance in the news media is the result not of intentional bias, but simple ignorance.Similarly, after I quoted Greg’s note about us, someone submitted the following query in the comments section, asking how one balances blogging with the laws against lashon hora, gossip:How do you balance the stringent laws of lashon hara with the fact that problems in the community don’t get solved until they’re fully in the public eye? The truth is, even the whole anti-spouse-abuse campaign got hammered by people swearing up and down that it was lashon hara.The simple fact of the matter is that the laws of Lashon Hora continue to apply. There is no journalist’s (or blogger’s) exemption. Nor do I think it is accurate to say that problems don’t get solved until they are made public. That may be true in rare cases, but there are many others where matters are resolved without mentioning names. I do not believe that we have the right, and certainly not the responsibility, to report badly about individuals.Right now, there is a web site carrying extremely serious allegations about a member of our community, allegations which, if believed, would result in the immediate termination of that individual’s employment – or great damage to the company that employs him. The “evidence” against this person comes entirely from a blog (and another web page created by the blogger), which also contains a series of allegations against various rabbis and others who are “protecting” this individual.Anyone who knows any of these people knows that the allegations are ludicrous. If the allegations had a hint of truth to them, then (given their nature) the rabbis in question would be first to tell him he must leave his job. The allegations were discredited long ago – but certain people don’t care. They would rather besmirch the innocent based upon “testimony” which changes substantially each time the story is re-told.The fact is that you don’t need loshon hora to stop spousal abuse. The rabbis are accused of not caring by people who have never bothered to speak to them directly – and, not incidentally, have a huge chip on their shoulders about Judaism. How many times have we heard the canard about Maimonides endorsing wife-beating, despite the abysmal ignorance of the Hebrew language (not to mention Jewish Law) reflected in this pathetic misreading of the words on the page?Blogging – or newspaper reporting – is no excuse for loshon hora. In another surprising bit of Divine Providence, yesterday the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation asked me to publicize the following notice (which they also provided as a PDF for all who want to see it nicely formatted). It’s quite appropriate to this topic.‘Now the Matter Is Known’Shemos 2:14After slaying a brutal Egyptian task master to save the life of a Jewish slave, Moshe Rabbeinu discovered that a report of this deed was spread by the wicked, Dasan and Aviram. Moshe realized that the news could only have been publicized through loshon hora.His response was one of deep dismay: “Now the matter is known.” Rashi explains that “The matter” which became painfully clear to Moshe is that loshon hora was present in Klal Yisrael, and this explained to Moshe why the Jewish people were condemned to endure a crushing enslavement.The Chofetz Chaim says that this incident fits into a tragic pattern which links most of the major catastrophies of Jewish history with loshon hora: The loshon hora of the Serpent resulted in man’s explusion from Gan Eden; the loshon hora of the spies resulted in the institution of Tisha B’Av as a day of destruction and mourning; the loshon hora of the Jewish people brought about the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash and the length of the present 2,000-year exile.But this tragic pattern is not a thing of the past. The loshon hora we speak today keeps us in exile*, and keeps the riptide of tragedy crashing up against our people in wave after wave, generation after generation.Today, we are publicizing the following halacha as a service to Klal Yisrael. In the merit of heeding it, may we be blessed with the strength to turn back the tide.A negative statement about someone is considered loshon hora even if the information is common knowledge and even if it is printed in a newspaper.*Loshon hora, by definition, is a true statement. Even though it is true, it may not be repeated, heard or believed. Doubting what you read in the newspaper is not naivete; it is mature, critical thinking, because media is often biased, incomplete and inaccurate. Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation361 Spook Rock Rd. Suffern, NY 10901(845) 352-3505 18 Comments » The URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2004/12/30/blogging-and-emloshon-horaem-gossip/trackback/Dear rabbi Menken,Congratulations on your new site and on the stellar credentials of your contributors.There is no beautiful teaching that can not be abused. Judaism’s laws and teachings about forbidden speech, about lashon hara, are not a shield from independent scrutiny, nor a club to beat away all inconvenient facts. The prophet Nathan had no problem saying to King David, thou art the man.Judaism is a constellation of values and practices. You can’t seize one interpretation of Jewish law (the Chafetz Chaim’s teachings on lashon hara) and claim it trumps all other values.For instance, when there is a life at stake, that value trumps all of Jewish law but for three laws.Comment by Luke Ford — 12/30/2004 @ 6:46 pm I think I phrased my question incorrectly, so I’ll try again - your response was indeed enlightening, however. I’m desperately wishing I had a copy of the laws of the shmiras halashon beside me to delve into, but alas, all my sefarim are at my new apartment (where I am not at).I _thought_, however, that there was an issue with “slandering the community". Am I incorrect? My thrust was not so much that you had to name names to get action done (although a semi-recent incident with NCSY is worth considering with regards to that), but that there would seem to be an issue of telling tales about the community in general.Let’s take for example, I don’t know, the shidduch problem. Is it wrong to state, in public, that the community has serious, serious problems, outline them, and suggest solutions? Certainly, applying this to a named person is wrong, but what about the Jewish community?Jewish blogging ethics… might be an interesting book.-DMZ Comment by DMZ — 12/30/2004 @ 6:54 pm Orthodox Jews BloggingWhile I was making the rounds through some of the blogs that I read on a semi-daily basis, I found a link to a rather new blog, called “Cross-Currents", that Rabbi Yaakov Menken (my former employer and founder of Torah.org) put together so that some … Trackback by The Demilitarized Zone — 12/30/2004 @ 7:35 pm Loshon Hara by way of the internet is a very serious issue. I stopped reading the blog you referrenced because I felt that the allegations and innuendo were loshon hara and had very little chance of being “LeToelet” or meeting any of the other heterim. I am really impressed with the quality of the conributors and the respectful and earnest tone of the comments. Aleh Vehatzlach Comment by MJB — 12/30/2004 @ 8:54 pm “How many times have we heard the canard about Maimonides endorsing wife-beating, despite the abysmal ignorance of the Hebrew language (not to mention Jewish Law) reflected in this pathetic misreading of the words on the page?”What is the ignorance involved here (the Rambam does in fact condone it in certain circumstances - if these are stretched it would be a “canard” but you can’t wish it all away). Comment by Fotheringay-phipps — 12/30/2004 @ 9:41 pm Not actual spouse abuse - to clarify - the court administers, not the husband Comment by Fotheringay-phipps — 12/30/2004 @ 9:49 pm Well, F-P, just drop the word “actual,” and there you are: “not spouse abuse.” The passage says that the court may punish a wife, just as it may punish a husband. The last time I checked, a punishment from the legal system did not quite qualify as “spouse abuse.”If you want gender bias, see the Ra’avad there. He says a court beating a man is fine, but never saw that corporal punishment could be administered to a woman. That’s flagrant bias, but I’ve never heard these people complain about the Ra’avad… Comment by Yaakov Menken — 12/30/2004 @ 10:24 pm Well I wasn’t sure what the claimers were claiming, and didn’t see what might have been misread. I don’t know if the Ra’avad means no women are ever beaten for anything - he means for failing to live up to spousal obligations (haven’t looked into this, though). I think some people are uncomfotable with the notion of using physical force for failure to live up to spousal obligations. People are more worked up about wife-abuse than husband abuse these days, despite the actual numbers being closer than one might expect.I’m with you in general on people taking Jewish sources out of context. Comment by Fotheringay-phipps — 12/30/2004 @ 10:47 pm we are required to talk to authorities in cases of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse), rabbinical sexual misconduct, domestic violence. This includes when an alleged offender is one of our friends. Comment by Shlomo — 12/30/2004 @ 11:19 pm Im curious in regarding to Lashon Hara. Is it OK to speak Lashon Hara about non-Jews? I have heard two different opinions on this matter. Also… what about if there is a person that was convicted and served his time for sexual assault. The law (at least where I live) requires that person to be registered as a sexual offender and neighbors have the right to know. Would this be considered Lashon Hara? Comment by Hanan — 12/31/2004 @ 1:41 am >Anyone who knows any of these people knows that>the allegations are ludicrous.1) As none of these people have any background, training or experience in conducting a professional investigation of such allegations.2) This is percisely what is said by friends/relatives of anyone who has ever been accused of such things.3) This is why the Orthodox community should be cooperating with people that have the background, training or experience in conducting such a professional investigation of such allegations. Why stonewall the police if he’s innocent? Why pass stories around about victims to protect someone who is truly innocent? Cooperate and let the professionals do their job.>the rabbis in question would be first to tell him he must>leave his job. Nothing these bloggers are doing in exposing this corruption is wrong.To quote from RCA Roundtable, Nissan 5752:…The Mishnah, Avot 4:4, reminds us that sequestering a hillul Hashem will always be unsuccessful: “Whoever desecrates the name of Heaven in private will ultimately be punished in public, whether the desecration was committed unintentionally or intentionally.” Hence, a conspiracy to conceal information about abuse will ultimately be made public, creating an even greater hillul Hashem. The greater severity of the hillul Hashem in concealing the information can be further supported by the Talmud, Yoma 86b, which maintains that “one should expose hypocrites to prevent the desecration of the Name. (See also Hilkhot De’ot 6:8) Rashi explains that the reason for this disclosure is that people, thinking that this person is righteous, may learn from his behavior. Rambam is of the opinion that after unsuccessful attempts to correct the matter privately, public remonstration and broadcasting of the outrage is required. There is no concern about the hillul Hashem of exposing the offense.…That is exactly what is happening, whether you like it or not. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 1:47 am >Also… what about if there is a person that was convicted>and served his time for sexual assault. The law (at least>where I live) requires that person to be registered as a>sexual offender and neighbors have the right to know. Would>this be considered Lashon Hara? To quote from RCA Roundtable, Nissan 5752:…In addition to the halakhic requirements of pikuach nefesh and rodef, jurisdictions have laws which require anyone who works with children to report suspicions of abuse and, thus, dina de-malkhuta dina (the law of the country is binding) obtains.28 While dina de-malkhuta dina does apply when the demands of the state call for the violation of Jewish law,29 this paper proves that such reporting not only does not violate Jewish law, but that Jewish law makes such reporting imperative. LASHON HARA Is discussing or reporting an alleged abuser a violation of the laws against lashon hara? Consider the Talmudic case of Tuvya and Zigud (Pesahim 113b), It once happened that Tuvya sinned and Zigud came and testified against him alone before R. Papa. He had Zigud punished. “Tuvya sinned and Zigud is punished!” he exclaimed. He said to him, “Yes, for it is written, ‘One witness shall not rise up against a man’ (Deut. 19:15), whereas you have testified against him alone; you have merely brought him into ill repute.” Since this testimony was inadmissible, Zigud has done no more than spread ugly rumors about the accused and has violated the prohibition, “Thou shalt not go as a talebearer” (Lev. 19:16). However, R. Papa’s actions in Pesahim seem to be contradicted by the Talmud (Baba Kamma 56a) which condemns even a single individual who withholds evidence as one who is exempt from human judgment but liable to the judgments of Heaven. Rashi observes that since the attestation of one witness can obligate the party to take an oath, such testimony is efficacious: such a statement is not lashon hara and its declaration is imperative. Rema extends the moral imperative of one witness to testify to all cases in which there is a benefit, including preventing another person from sinning.30 In fact, there is no contradiction. The case of Tuvya and Zigud teaches that if the sin has already been committed, the testimony of only one witness is prohibited, constituting a violation of motsi shem ra. Baba Kamma requires testimony because there will be a future benefit. Despite the permissibility generated by the need to prevent future injury, Hafetz Hayyim prohibits the revelation of any information that would cause harm to the accused that is not based on bonafide evidence worthy of a court of Iaw.31 This prevents an innocent person from becoming the victim of false accusations and slander.32 This restriction severely hinders the revelation of instances of child abuse where the only confirmation of the abuse is the statements of minors whose veracity is unreliable, as they are generally considered as unfit witnesses,33 or circumstantial physical evidence. However, because confidential reports to agencies responsible for investigating such allegations will not harm a person’s reputation and because the testimony of children, supported by significant suspicions, may be acceptable testimony,34 this restriction does not prevent the proper prosecution of abusers or endanger the well being of children. In addition, when physical and mental pikuach nefesh is involved, one must, after careful deliberation and consideration of the evidence and its consequences, reveal serious suspicions. Thus, in cases of child abuse, where, after careful evaluation of the evidence it is believed that abuse has occurred, there is no prohibition of rehilut– even outside of the judiciary process. On the contrary, it is a mitzvah to inform others so as to protect them and their families from possible harm. Hafetz Hayyim, rejecting the possible objections of those who would deem this an unwarranted leniency, states that withholding such information is tantamount to withholding testimony in a court of law and is prohibited by “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy brother” (Lev. 19:16).35 This obligation to reveal this information holds: even outside of court proceedings;36 even if the informer is the sole source of information; even if the statement is based solely upon hearsay; and even if the abuser promises not to harm anyone else if there is concern that he cannot be trusted.37 INFORMING CIVIL AUTHORITIES AND HILLUL HASHEM Based on the verse, “These are the judgments which you shall place before them: (Ex. 21:1), Jewish law prohibits adjudication by Jews in non-Jewish courts.38 Rambam, elaborating on the severity of this sin, claims that “whoever adjudicates in a non-Jewish court … is wicked and it is as though he has reviled, blasphemed, and rebelled against the law of Moses.” 39 Many explain that the prohibition of mesirah, the reporting of a fellow Jew to civil authorities, is for the purpose of privileging the Jewish legal system over those of others. All legal matters concerning Jews should be redressed in a Jewish court according to Jewish law. However, there are many reasons why this prohibition does not apply in the case of child abuse. 1) Arukh HaShulhan maintains that mesirah was prohibited because of the nature of autocratic governments under which Jews lived throughout much of our history. Such informing often led to dangerous persecution of the entire Jewish Community. He posits that this injunction no longer applies in those communities in which the government is generally fair and non-discriminatory.40 Accordingly, it is obligatory in the Western world today to inform the civil authorities about child abusers. 2) The prohibition of mesirah applies only when testimony assists civil authorities in illegally obtaining the money of another Jew, not when it aids a non-Jewish government in fulfilling such rightful duties as collecting taxes and punishing criminals. When, however, the information concerns the criminal activities of a fellow Jew– as long as the Jewish criminal has also violated a Torah law, and even if the punishment will be more severe than the Torah prescribes 41 – the ban of mesirah does not apply.42 3) Even should one hold that the prohibition of mesirah is relevant today, reporting child abusers to civil authorities is nevertheless mandatory. According to Rema, even when the prohibition of mesirah is in force, “a person who attacks others should be punished. If the Jewish authorities do not have the power to punish him, he must be punished by the civil authorities."43 Our Batei Din today have neither the power nor the authority to handle such matters. 4) Shulhan Arukh rules that the prohibition of mesirah restricts an individual who is being harassed from making a report to the civil authorities. However, when there is a meitzar hatzibbur (public menace), mesirah is permissible.44 Child abusers and molesters clearly endanger the welfare of many children with whom they have contact.45 5) The concern of hillul Hashem (desecrating God’s Name) has also been raised as an objection to the reporting of Jewish child abusers, i.e., it would be disgraceful for a Jew, especially an Orthodox one, to be tried publicly for such an offense and a hillul Hashem to resort to non-Jewish courts.46 However, the problem of hillul Hashem cuts both ways. Not reporting or testifying about such abuse, when such is required by civil law, is classified by Rosh as hillul HaShem.47 Although, according to Shulhan Arukh, the desecration of God’s Name occurs only in those cases when Jewish witnesses have been specifically designated by the non-Jews to testify, 48 Bach maintains that Rosh’s position applies in our own day even when such witnesses have not been officially summoned because of the danger to Jewish lives that may subsequently ensue by withholding information. Certainly, in countries where physicians, teachers, and youth workers are required by law to report suspicions of child abuse, it would be a hillul Hashem and a violation of dina de-malkhuta dina to withhold such information.… Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 1:52 am Footnotes for above:28. Gloss of Rema to Hoshen Mishpat 369:11, “Dina de-malkhuta dina applied … where the legislation protects the welfare of the citizens.’ See Shmuel Shiloh, Dina De-Malkhuta Dina, (Jerusalem: 5735). pp. 115, 147-149, 187ff. 29. Siftei Kohen to Hoshen Mishpat 73, no. 39 and Responsa Chatam Sofer, Hoshen Mishpat, no. 44. 30. Gloss to Hoshen Mishpat 28:1. 31. Hafetz Hayyim, Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 7, no. 20. 32. Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut, Kelal 9, no. 20. 33. Hilkhot Edut 9:1; Hoshen Mishpat 35:1. 34. Gloss of Rema to Hoshen Mishpat 35:14 which, under certain circumstances, accepts minors as eidei birrur based on a Takkanat kadmonim ascribed to either Rabbeinu Tam or Rabbeinu Gershom Me’Or haGolah. 35. Be’er Mayyim Hayyim, Hilkhot Rehilut. kelal 9, no. 1. 36. Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 9, no. 3. 37. Hilkhot Rehilut, kelal 9, no. 3 and Be’er Mayyim Hayyim nos. 9 and 10. 38. Gittin 88b. 39. Hilkhot Sanhedrin 26:7. For discussions of the prohibition of litigating in secular courts see Herschel Schachter, “Dina deMaIchusa Dina.” Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Vol. 1, no. 1. and Simcha Krauss, “Litigation in Secular Courts.’ Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Vol. 11, no. 1. 4O. Arukh HaShulhan, Hoshen Mishpat 388:7. This source is cited authoritatively by Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz in “The Abused Child: Halakhic Insights.” Ten Da’at, Sivan 5748. p. 12. 41. RaN to Sanhediin 46a. See, however, Responsa Rema, no. 88, who maintains that according to Tosaphot, Baba Kamma 114a, s.v., ve-lo, if the punishment is greater than the Torah prescribes, there is a prohibition of mesirah. 42. Herschel Schachter, “Dina deMalchuso, Dina,” p. 118. 43. Hoshen Mishpat 338:7 and Shakh, no. 45. See also Gloss of Rema to Hoshen Mishpat 338:9; B’nei Hayei and Maharam miRiszburg cited in Pahad Yitzhak, Maarekhet Hoveil Behaveiro. 44. Hoshen Mishpat 338:12 according to the text quoted by Shakh, no. 59 and Gra no. 71. 45. See statement of Rabbi Waldenberg quoted in Nishmat Avraham, Vol. IV, p. 209. 46. See Responsa Binyamin Zev, no. 282 and Responsa Ba’i Hayi, Hoshen, Mishpat no. 158. 47. Rosh to Baba Kamma, chapter 10, no. 14. 48. Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat 28:3. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 1:54 am >The fact is that you don’t need loshon hora to stop>spousal abuse.How do you stop it? How do you stop the sexual abuse of children? Silence only aids the abusers and makes it easier for them to move from one community to the next. I suggest you talk to mental health workers and social workers. You’re outside of your expertise.>The rabbis are accused of not caring by people who have never>bothered to speak to them directlyI have talked to rabbonim directly. It’s not that they don’t care. But all the caring in the world doesn’t help, you need action. How can rabbonim act? They have no expertise in this area, they have no professional training in this area and they have no experience in this area. Too oten they end up causing more harm than good.An education in Yeshiva, smicha do not make one an expert in every subject in the world. When a person is sick they go to a professional, a doctor. When a person needs a specialized proceedure, should they go to a doctor who does one of these procedures a year or a specialist who does 5 such procedures a day?Yet people think that if their child is sexually abused that a rabbi somehow is an expert in this field? They are not.Rabbonim are simply ill-equiped to deal with these things.>– and, not incidentally, have a huge chip on their shoulders about>Judaism. I love Judaism, I love Hashem. I have no such chip on my shoulder.But my emunah is in Hashem, not man.Baruch ha’gever asher yivtach ba’sher…Arrur ha’gever asher yivtach ba’dam… Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 2:13 am >Since most journalists are therefore on the outside>looking in, a substantial part of the distorted portrayal>of Torah observance in the news media is the result not>of intentional bias, but simple ignorance.While true, sometimes an outside view of us can provide an objectivety that we lack in looking at ourselves. Rather than simply dismissing that outside evaluation, perhaps we should be more willing to be exposed to the light of day.Accountability and transparency. Life is better when those words are given meaning.Unless you prefer corruption and consider all people infallible. I don’t. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 2:24 am >I do not believe that we have the right, and certainly not the>responsibility, to report badly about individuals.And yet on your blog you have the following by Jonathan Rosenblum:>It appears that Foxman was just seeking a>little more air time at the expense of religious Jews. Is this mozi shem rah?Even if true, is this not Lashon Hora?>the phenomenon of yeshiva students in Jerusalem’s Old>City attacking Christians. Only one such incident, however,>has been reported, Has Jonathan Rosenblum done research to ascertain if he is correct? Has Jonathan Rosenblum made inquiries with the Israeli police who actually keep track of such incidents?>Journalist Diane DuBrow asked Laura Kam, the director>of the ADL’s Jerusalem office, whether the office>possessed any documentation of any other such incidents.>Kam replied that she had no such documentation. Dude, the ADL keeps track of non-jew violence AGAINST jews not the opposite.By the way, how does Jonathan Rosenblum know why Foxman does what he does? Is Jonathan Rosenblum psychic? To me that’s pure mozi shem rah.It seems to me Lashon Hora issues only apply to some groups and people in your fellow bloggers’ minds and not others. Typically those your fellow bloggers admire and respect.Correct me if I’m mistaken. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 2:39 am >Only one such incident, however, has been reported,Apparently, Jonathan Rosenblum is wrong and Foxman is simply responding to the criticism “When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” Poraz ‘Repulsed’ by Cases of Jews Spitting on Christians.October 13, 2004Israel FaxxBy Ha’aretz Interior Minister Avraham Poraz issued a strongly worded statement Tuesday against incidents of Jews spitting at Christian clergy in Jerusalem, saying he was “repulsed” by the repeated attacks.” Poraz was referring to the most recent case of such behavior, when a yeshiva student spat at a cross carried by Armenian archbishop Nourhan Manougian in a procession on Sunday, police said. A fistfight broke out, during which the archbishop’s medallion, worn by Armenian archbishops since the 17th century, was damaged, and the archbishop slapped the yeshiva student. The student was arrested, and the Jerusalem District Court subsequently banned him from approaching the Old City for 75 days. Police questioned the archbishop. Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said that the last such case handled by police was more than two years ago, but Christian clergy complain of frequent harassment. Poraz called such behavior by ultra-Orthodox Jewish students “intolerable,” and asked Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra to “take all the necessary steps to prevent these incidents in the future.” Poraz also expressed his dismay to the heads of the churches in Israel and noted “Israel’s commitment to freedom of religion.” Armenian officials charged that Israeli authorities were not doing enough. “When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” Archbishop Nourhan Manougian told Ha’aretz. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 2:50 am Here’s a perfect example of a rasha. He’s even a product of Maryland and it’s institutions.see:http://theawarenesscenter.org/Horowitz_Alan.htmlPerhaps you can explain to me how the silence of the Jewish community and it’s leadership did not protect this monster and allow him to move from one community to the next destroying so many young lives. Comment by jewishwhistleblower — 12/31/2004 @ 2:57 am
link to current version:http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2004/12/30/blogging-and-emloshon-horaem-gossip/#comments
>Ordinarily, we’re not going to delete comments. But when someone>not only goes off topic,I think it was pretty dead on topic.>but in addition names namesThe only name I name was Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz who to this day promotes sex between adults and children. He writes for NAMBLA. If ever there was a rasha Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz is it.see:http://theawarenesscenter.org/Horowitz_Alan.html>and spreads rumors,What rumors?This is pure mozi shem rah.
Let's see how long these comments are up before deletion as well.I saw the comments posted by jewishwhistleblower and found it cowardly that you deleted them.It would have been an interesting and enlightening dialogue had you addressed them. It wouldalso be interesting to read your response to Luke Ford’s comment above. Comment by GZL — 12/31/2004 @ 10:38 am Yaakov – Can you indicate precisely how the laws of loshon hara allowed you to print your post above, in which you indicate the responsibility of a specific blogger and website for spreading “allegations [that] are ludicrous,” and declaring, “They would rather besmirch the innocent based upon “testimony” which changes substantially each time the story is re-told"? Comment by Steven I. Weiss — 12/31/2004 @ 10:52 am
SIW hits the nail on the head.For all their talk of shmirat halashon:1) They will smack talk anyone who they disagree with.2) Attack any point of view contrary to theirs.3) They are not interested in a debate just putting out their view.4) You can't even discuss a known rasha, a known danger to children.If you want to debate these issues, you'll have to do it here because they're just not interested in a debate. Accountability and transparency may not exist in their world.
Bless you all -- Jewish Whistleblower, Luke Ford, Steven I. Weiss, and Vicki Polin.
"Now let’s please return to the topic of when one might be breaking the laws of gossip, rather than posting further examples of crossing the line. Comment by Yaakov Menken — 12/31/2004 @ 11:17 am"Huh? Is he saying here, "let's keep it nice and safe and theoretical, and not discuss it in regards to some messy, ugly realities"?
And here's a thought, for all the various women abused by the various rabbis they don't want anyone to discuss:Is it possible then, for all their shouts of "lashon hara", that they might be good witnesses for the prosecution, since they are admitting they know it's true?
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